Kyle Rudolph is such a great locker room presence for the Vikings and offers so much value that it’s hard to believe that they will not have him back on the roster next year.


• The Twins may get lucky with weather for their Opening Day in 12 days with some models predicting sunshine and temperatures in the 50s for the stretch of March 28-31. ...The Twins have a coiled heating system under the field, so they’ll have no trouble getting that ready.


• The Vikings and Wolves have tough salary cap issues to solve. They will be hurt regardless of their final decisions. ...The Wolves have to find a way to sign Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose.


• Rumors are that Michael Hurt will leave the Gophers and join his brother Matthew, the Rochester John Marshall standout, wherever he goes to school.


• With the NCAA tournament field being selected Sunday, the oddsmakers have Duke as the favorite to win the championship at U.S. Bank Stadium at 11-4 odds. ... In the Big Ten, Michigan State has the best odds to win the tourney at 12-1. The Gophers’ odds were 150-1.


• CBS Sports talked to NFL scouts following the combine. An AFC scout said of Gophers offensive lineman Donnell Green: “I see him as a right tackle who can bump to guard if he fails outside. He’s a big, wide guy and that is what we look for. We can let our line coach figure the other stuff out if we take him.”


• Meanwhile CBS Sports projects that Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman has a better-than-average chance to make an NFL roster but don’t view him as a draft pick and instead as a rookie free agent.


• The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Ohio State football assistant coaches will make $7.245 million this season. The Gophers assistants will make $3.045 million in 2019.