Happy Thursday! Nothing but good vibes in Minnesota, especially at Target Center -- where the Wolves keep climbing up the standings. That storyline is just one of five we're keeping a close eye on today:
1) Wolves beat Portland, as Kevin Love had another double-double to lead Minnesota to a 106-94 win over the Trail Blazers. Up next: Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers tomorrow night at Target Center. Good luck getting a good ticket.
2) Did we mention that the Wolves are now in the eighth spot in the Western Conference? Tied with Houston? Playoffs? Playoffs? Maybe. Take it away, Jim Mora:
3) All of the top seeds in Class A advanced in the Boys' Hockey Tournament yesterday. That means St. Thomas Academy, Hermantown, Breck and Thief River Falls are in the small school final four. Class AA play starts today, with the Duluth East Greyhounds as the big dogs to beat.
4) A knee injury might keep Ralph Sampson III out of today's Big Ten tournament opener. The Gophers play Northwestern in step one to make the post-season. Some say Minnesota needs a few wins to get into the NIT tournament, and a spectacular performance to be considered for the NCAA tourney.
5) If the Wild start a zillion-game winning streak they might be able to find their way into the post-season. They're in Phoenix tonight to take on the Coyotes. It's been a horrible stretch for the Wild. They're 0-4-1 in their last five games, and 3-10-3 in their last 16 games to fall off the Western Conference playoff map.
That's our Top 5? We miss something? If so, bring it!