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: Where the Gophers improved Saturday; Ann Arbor's best offerings

Posted by: Amelia Rayno Updated: March 3, 2014 - 10:02 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.

Random Rankings is an even newer feature, which will be included regularly, if not daily. There is nothing too random. Sometthing specific you want ranked? Tweet me.

Five tidbits as I settle in for a full week without games. 

1. Skip lunch and join me for my live chat at noon -- Bring your Big Ten questions, your Gophers queries, your Bigfoot musings, your whiskey wonderings ... etc. Who needs another lifeless salad with coworkers anyway? Not you.

2. In case you missed it, my game story from Saturday night's loss at Michigan, plus more notes here.
 
3. Recruiting update: Gophers 2015 target Elijah Thomas finished with 20 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks for Lancaster vs. Kimball; from Saturday, 2015 guard Desure Buie finished with 17 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and five steals for Wings Academy. Plus a few notes on 2014 target Kobie Eubanks from Adam Zagoria here. The shooting guard skipped his visit to Wichita State over the weekend. Via D1 Circuit.

4. As Selection Sunday draws nearer, the Gophers are firmly on the bubble, even if they win their upcoming game against Penn State over the weekend. Last week, coach Richard Pitino said he doesn't think it's the time for politicking just yet, but if he was going to make a case for Minnesota, he would point out one thing. "I do hope at some point people understand we lost two games without our leading scorer," he said, referring to Andre Hollins' severe ankle sprain, which kept him out for most of three games. "I'd hope at some point, when that time comes, that's factored into it. It's not easy playing without our best player and we didn't have him for two of our losses, so that would be the only thing. I don't think anyone's listening to me though."

5. Yes, the Gophers lost on Saturday. But one area where they've been steadily improving is their fouling rate (defensive FTA/FGA), something that's been a big problem all year. According to kenpom.com, the Gophers again improved in that area against Michigan, shrinking their overall rate of sending opponents to the line from 40.3 (.403 trips to the line for every field goal attempt) to 39.6, taking the Gophers from 170th to 154th in the nation.


Random rankings: Ann Arbor spots

1. Mash -- A weird but entertaining blend of people; a wall of whiskey; I believe there was some live piano action.
2. Zingerman's Roadhouse -- Always a must. They do everything in-house and churn out really good food that's really bad for you. Including bloody marys in times of need.
3. Aventura -- Here, I had Brussels sprouts that made me want to cry with joy. Brussels sprouts are not supposed to make you do that. Plus some great cocktail-making here, and one of the bartenders was pouring liquid fire at one point. So there's that.
4. Cafe Zola -- The brunch was ridiculous.
5. Grange -- I didn't make it on this trip, but last time I was there I had some duck fat french fries that nearly sent me the way of the Brussels sprouts. Good food overall, and a cozy dinner spot.

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Toronto 1 Bottom 7th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets 6 Top 6th Inning
Atlanta 2
Boston 3 Bottom 6th Inning
Baltimore 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago WSox 6 Top 6th Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cleveland 2 Bottom 4th Inning
Minnesota 1
Detroit 1 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 2
Seattle 1 Top 5th Inning
Houston 1
Los Angeles 4 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 1
Texas - N. Tepesch 2:35 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 20 4th Qtr 11:38
Buffalo 10
Dallas 20 4th Qtr 8:15
St. Louis 24
Washington 20 3rd Qtr 3:44
Philadelphia 27
Houston 10 4th Qtr 10:41
NY Giants 20
Minnesota 9 4th Qtr 12:19
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 0 4th Qtr 9:26
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 17 4th Qtr 10:47
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 4th Qtr 10:40
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 30 4th Qtr 14:50
Jacksonville 3
Oakland 9 4th Qtr 9:55
New England 13
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 3rd Prd 17:01
Carolina 2
Buffalo 4:00 PM
Washington
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 1st Half 35:00
Toronto FC 0
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 11:39
Montreal 25
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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