• ESPN college basketball reporter Joe Lunardi, who predicts the NCAA tournament field, had the Gophers making it as of Sunday. The Gophers are 47th in the Ratings Percentage Index and have the third-strongest strength of schedule in the nation. Coming into Sunday they were just two spots behind Iowa, ranked 45th, in the RPI.
• Gophers men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino is recruiting Anas Osama Mahmoud, a 7-1 center from Egypt playing at West Oaks Academy in Orlando. Osama Mahmoud visited Rick Pitino at Louisville and his son at Minnesota. He has also visited Georgia Tech, Auburn, Kentucky and Cincinnati.
• The Gophers football team still is recruiting outstanding three-star Columbus, Ind., running back Markell Jones, who visited this past weekend.
• Twins President David St. Peter reports that to date, the club has sold more than 1.5 million tickets for the 2014 season. There are still choice tickets available for the April 7 home opener with Oakland. … Twins single tickets went on sale Feb. 22 and the best-selling games have been for the July 3-6 series with the Yankees, when great shortstop Derek Jeter will play his final games at Target Field, with his retirement coming at the end of this season. … Speaking of ticket sales, the Twins have sold more than 100,000 tickets for their spring training games. … The Twins continue to explore the Dominican Republic and Venezuela for talent and will explore building facilities in both areas.
• Henry Ellenson of Rice Lake, Wis. — the younger brother of Wally Ellenson, who gave up his Gophers basketball scholarship to concentrate on high jumping for track and field — could wind up at Duke.
• Sydney Moss, daughter of former Vikings receiver Randy Moss, set a women’s Division III scoring mark when she scored 63 points for Thomas More College in a victory over Waynesburg in a semifinal of the Presidents Athletic Conference tournament.
• Former Gophers standout Thomas Vanek, who has 50 points on 19 goals and 31 assists with the Islanders, has been heavily rumored as a trade target as the NHL trade deadline approaches. The Islanders also feature former Gopher Kyle Okposo, who has 61 points on 25 goals and 36 assists, second most on the team behind the injured John Tavares and tied for seventh best in the NHL.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • email@example.com