This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Opening Tip: Gophers reading, bubble update, best spots in Columbus

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: February 23, 2014 - 9:56 AM

The Opening Tip is a new feature to Gold in the Barn, with the goal being to share five nuggets -- mostly Gophers or Big Ten related but occasionally not -- every morning between 8 and 10. Dig it? Hate it? Want to see something specific in it? Send me feedback at amelia.rayno@startribune.com or tweet me @AmeliaRayno

Five tidbits as I'm heading back to home, sweet frigid home, Minneapolis.

1. My story from last night, on the Gophers' loss at Ohio State and the emotions that followed. Read at your own risk.

2. Did the Gophers fall off the bubble? CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello didn't say that for sure, but he does say the Gophers are in trouble. Tweeted: ESPN's Joe Lunardi says Minnesota is in the first four out.

3. The saving grace at this point, of course, is the Gophers' strength of schedule, which ranks fifth in the nation. Gophers coach Richard Pitino gave some thoughts on it on Friday. "We're 17-10 and 6-8 in the conference," he said. "And we're "in the tournament." That's because we play a great schedule. That's going to hopefully save us. But we've got to win now, too. Playing a tough schedule can certainly help you, but you've got to win. It's not beneficial unless you find a way to win. What's great for us is we've got three top-25 teams coming up."

[Edit accordingly with the loss]

4. Recruiting update No. 1: Gophers commit Josh Martin has 23 points and 20 rebounds for Bothell in a win over Edmond-Woodway (via @D1Circuit).

5. Recruiting update No. 2: Adam Zagoria reports that 2014 shooting guard Kobie Eubanks will include Minnesota in his five official visits, along with Wichita State, Pittsburgh, Missouri and Baylor. There is no date for the Minnesota visit yes. Eubanks also told SNY.tv last week that Pitt was working the hardest in his recruitment.


Bonus:

*In case you crawled under your couch and went into hibernation after the Gophers' loss last night, this other thing happened: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim got ejected in the Orange's loss to Duke after vehemently arguing this call. But the beauty came after, when photoshop artists got to work. There are some pretty amazing ones in here (from College Basketball Talk), but I think my favorite is Boeheim off the top rope.

*Five favorite food/drink spots in Columbus: 1. Curio: It's a teeny tiny little bar that churns out a) amazing pizza and b) amazing cocktails. What's not to love? Fighting to get an actual seat brings a sense of (false) accomplishment. 2. Rossi: Late-food that also happens to be really good. I had lamb lollipops. 3. Mouton: Lures you in with a sign that asks you to come and "smell the rye." You've already won, pal. 4. Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails: Good sandwiches, pub fare, and the kind of really scary dive environment that is almost good enough to live-tweet. 5. North Market: Didn't make it on this trip, but it's always fun just to walk around and eat as you go. They've got it all in there.
 

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