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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Oakland 7 Top 12th Inning
Kansas City 7
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 3 3rd Prd 17:49
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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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 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
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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