How to Scent Each Room in Your House

Real estate agents often advise homeowners to bake bread or cookies before a viewing. Filling your house with a delicious food smell might hurry the sales process, but in everyday life, is oatmeal and peanut butter an appropriate scent for the bathroom? There are practical reasons for choosing different scents for each room in your house. Besides, if you use one fragrance too long, eventually you will not notice it anymore. Not only will you lose the experience, but you might try to compensate by upping the dosage, creating an overpowering atmosphere for guests. Here are some ideas for which scents to apply to each room, and how to invite different moods into the areas of your home.



You might not have thought about applying scent in your hallway, but everyone’s first impressions are made here. Use fresh, floral fragrances to transition from outdoors to indoors. Hide a plug-in spray underneath a console table, or fill a vase weekly with fragrant blooms to provide a focal point. Potpourri would also look nice, but beware of heavy musk’s, and keep it light. Cut grass, lemon oil, hyacinth, jasmine, and magnolia are all fresh scents to welcome guests to your home.


Living Room

This is likely the main area of your house and the one room that should reflect your personality. Food scents are not always a good idea, as everyone’s focus will be on the dinner rather than conversation. If using lavender and chamomile, choose an energetic scent to complement them, as they have a sedative effect. Choose a lively, unusual scent, and do not be afraid to use musks in moderation. Sandalwood, orange oil, berries, cedar, and vetiver are good choices.



Naturally, this room lends itself to food scents. There are hundreds of varieties now available in candles and diffusers. Avoid plug-ins, as the residue may land on food preparation surfaces. Again, fresh flowers are a good visual source. Use fresh-baked cookies, cinnamon, strawberry, apple, sage, rosemary, and basil. Be aware that you also may want to use scents to deter insects and cover up cooking smells; citronella does wonders, as do lemon and citrus candles.



Use fresh, non-heavy smells to give your bathroom a spa-like atmosphere. Fresh linen works well, as do cotton and natural smells like rain and sea breeze. Be aware that you will also be able to smell the cleaning products you use, so choose complementary scents in bleach and toilet cleaners if you can.



You want to foster an atmosphere of relaxation and sensuality here. Dark, heavy scents work well. Do not be afraid to layer, but avoid overpowering the room if you have trouble sleeping. Incense sticks work well here, as do plug-ins and candles — arranged safely and never left attended. Use rose, lavender, vanilla, berries, patchouli and lotus flower for deep relaxation and harmony.


It is possible to use scents to cover up odors such as cooking, pets, and cigarette smoke, so if there are areas of your home that are prone to a malodor, make sure you pay attention to the scents you use nearby. Reed diffusers are an excellent safe and potent way to disperse scent and are best placed high and out of reach of pets and children. Remember some pets are sensitive to smells such as citrus and eucalyptus, so use these carefully and choose products with as few chemicals and pollutants as possible.

UMT Sports Update

Here’s what’s happening in the world of sports….


                                                    College Sports



  1. University of Pittsburgh Hires New Athletic Director-One month after Scott Barnes departed the school for Oregon State, Pitt announced that they finally hired his replacement as Athletic Director in the person of Kathy Lyke, who has an exemplary record of 22 years in increasingly high-level roles in collegiate athletics administration, and was previously the AD at Eastern Michigan. She also makes history as the first female AD in Pitt’s 106-year history.
  2. NCAA Tournament-And now, there are 16. To no surprise, College Basketball’s biggest stage has decreased from 68 teams to 16 in the span of 2 weeks. Also to no surprise is the fact that there are three #1 seeds remaining (North Carolina, Gonzaga, Kansas) along with #2 Seeds Kentucky, Arizona, #3 Seeds Baylor and Oregon, UCLA, #4 Seeds West Virginia, Butler, Purdue and Florida, #7 Seeds South Carolina and Michigan, #8 Seed Wisconsin and #11 seed Xavier. These teams will fight for the right to advance to the Elite Eight. The ‘Dancing’ continues Thursday night.
  3. #1 Overall Seed Villanova and #2 Seed Duke are out-As usual, the NCAA Tournament has it’s share of surprises, and this time it includes the early exit of #1 overall seed and defending national champion Villanova falling to Wisconsin 65-62, and Duke falling to South Carolina 88-81. You can also include the upset of #3 Florida State as they fell to #11 Xavier 91-66. This is what ‘March Madness’ is all about.
  4. Syracuse gives HC Boeheim contract extension beyond 2017-18-According to Syracuse’s legendary Head Coach, his plan was to call it a career after next season that is, before the news that his top assistant and one-time heir apparent landed a head coaching job himself. Mike Hopkins, who was expected to succeed Boeheim accepted his first HC job at the University of Washington, which led to Syracuse extending Boeheim’s contract because they knew the best man to fill that position was already in place.



National Football League


  1. Steelers Free Agency-Two weeks after they had been criticized for being passive, the Pittsburgh Steelers have now started to get pretty aggressive as they signed three free agents in the span of 2 days, and get this…not any of their own. On Monday, the Steelers signed RB Knile Davis and CB Coty Sensabaugh, and on Tuesday, they signed DE Tyson Alualu. All 3 figure to strengthen the Steelers depth at each position with Davis possibly being the team’s new kickoff returner. It may also be a sign that the Steelers may be saying goodbye to veteran RB DeAngelo Williams, who is also a free agent. Williams had backed up All-Pro Le’Veon Bell, but it appears Davis may be the man for that role, as he backed up Jamaal Charles during his days in Kansas City.
  2. NFL Free Agency-Not much else has happened with the rest of the NFL during this free agent period as the Miami Dolphins re-signed LB Kiko Alonzo to a 4-year deal, the NY Jets signed former Cleveland QB Josh McCown to a 1-year deal, and the New Orleans Saints signed LB Manati Te’o to a contract.
  3. Beast Mode Returning?-One year after the Seattle Seahawks decided to retire from football, Marshawn Lynch states that he now misses the sport and apparently, the Oakland Raiders want him on their team. Lynch’s agent is downplaying the news and says although Lynch does miss football, which the media is taking this news too far. And also, if the Raiders do want Lynch, they will have to pry him from the Seahawks because they still own his rights despite being retired.
  4. Cam Newton will have rotator cuff surgery-The Carolina Panthers will have surgery on March 30 to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, the team announced Tuesday. Newton had hurt the shoulder in Week 14 vs. the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers. The 2015 NFL MVP is expected to be ready for Training Camp in July.



National Basketball Association



  1. Adam Silver sends message to league regarding resting star players-More NBA teams have begun to rest star players, and the commissioner isn’t too happy about it, so Adam Silver has spoken up about it in a memo sent to each team that said the issue will be a prime topic of discussion at the next NBA board of governors meeting April 6 in New York and warned of ‎”significant penalties” for teams that don’t abide by the league’s standing rules for providing ‎”notice to the league office, their opponent, and the media immediately upon a determination that a player will not participate in a game due to rest.” The King has spoken.
  2. Former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause passes away at age 77-The man was the architect of the Dynasty that won 6 NBA Championships in the 1990’s which included HC Phil Jackson, and Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. He was also named NBA Executive of the Year twice

Major League Baseball


  1. Pirates improve to 16-7 in Grapefruit League Action-Although it’s just exhibition play, the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing with a ‘spring’ in their step that hasn’t been seen since their 2013 season in which they were a win away from the National League Championship Series. The Pirates beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 as they continue to prepare themselves for the start of the MLB season a little over a week from now when they travel to Boston to take on the White Sox.
  2. Barry Bonds rejoins the Giants as adviser-A year after being dismissed as hitting coach by the Miami Marlins, MLB’s Home Run King rejoins the team in which he set the HR records as a special adviser, the team announced Monday. Bonds set Major League Baseball records for home runs in a season (73 in 2001) and career homers (762) as part of his 15-year tenure in San Francisco. The Slugger said that San Francisco has ‘always been home to me.’


National Hockey League


  1. Sid The Kid gets honored-In the wake of his 3-goal game, Pittsburgh Penguins C Sidney Crosby earned Star Honors for the week. Cosby, along with Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand, Calgary Flames goaltender Brian Elliott have been named the Three Stars for the week ending March 19.

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Do You Suffer From Allergies? You Need To Read These Tips!

While there are many different options for dealing with allergies, it can seem like an insurmountable problem for those with constant symptoms during the changing of seasons. Don’t give up on feeling better! Read the tips in this article to find out ways to deal with your allergy symptoms for good.

Monitor pollen forecasts and plan accordingly. If you have access to the internet, many of the popular weather forecasting sites have a section dedicated to allergy forecasts including both air quality and pollen counts. On days when the count is going to be high, keep your windows closed and limit your time outdoors.

If you suffer from allergies, it is important to keep your home clean and vacuumed to remove allergens from carpets and floors. But, did you know that your vacuum not only sucks up allergens, it blows some of them right back out! Let someone without allergies do the vacuuming, or at least wear a dust mask if you have to do it yourself.

People who suffer from allergies often have dry, irritated nasal passages that are prone to redness, itchiness, and bloody noses. To keep these airway’s moist, use a spray of saline solution in each nostril several times per day, then apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly inside the nostrils to keep moisture in.

Make your home a little more allergy-free by implementing a no-shoes policy. Why? Because shoes come in from outdoors and carry with them dirt and pollen among other things, only adding to the indoor allergens you are already trying to eliminate. When guests come, offer them slippers or socks you keep especially for this purpose!

People can be affected by allergies at any age. Many Baby Boomers grew up without access to allergy tests and other medical resources. They have lived with allergic symptoms for decades. Allergic reactions often manifest differently in seniors than in young people. For example, older adults may experience itching, and mild swelling, but not localized redness. As a result, many assume that the cause of discomfort is something other than allergies. An allergy test can help seniors to identify allergens, and live their golden years to the fullest.

In some areas, pretty olive trees are turning into the landscaping decoration of choice. But, such trees tend to produce excessive amounts of pollen. Educating yourself about this tree can allow you to enjoy it in your surroundings, while still forming a plan of attack against your allergies. A lot of people find that using water hoses on trees with a lot of pollen can help tame the pollen.

If you feel as though you are having issues with dust and dust mites in your mattress, there are mattress sealers available to you. You can put your whole mattress in the plastic. With your sheets, you should never notice the difference of the plastic sheet being there at all.

You have to keep trying allergy relief methods until you find the right one for you. There are other allergy medications available, other than oral medications. Allergy treatments include everything from eye drops and nasal sprays to prescription leukotriene blockers and steroids.

There are natural remedies that people can do in dealing with their allergies. These products are often very effective ways of neutralizing an allergic reaction and its symptoms. They can help with a runny nose, swelling and reduce sneezing naturally.

If your home is carpeted throughout, consider upgrading your vacuum cleaner. Ideally, your vacuum should feature one or more HEPA or small particle filters. These heavy-duty filters are far superior to older models that catch only some of the dust, dander and other allergens that lurk in your carpet or rugs.

Time your outings. Statistics have shown that pollen count is affected by time of day, temperature, rain, and humidity. The worst times to be outdoors are between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, especially on days that are windy, hot and dry. So if you really want to spend some time outdoors, wait until the late afternoon.

If you want your clean laundry to smell sun-dried, purchase a scented laundry fabric softener or detergent. Drying your clothes outside may give your clothes a scent that you love. But, it can also boost your chances of encountering spores and pollen. Specially scented laundry products are only recommended if you have no aversions to dyes or strong perfume type chemicals.

If you suffer from allergies and you have had your mattress for a long time, you may want to consider getting a new one. Over time, mattresses develop dust mites, which lay eggs, in turn, causing more dust mites. This does not mean you have to get a new mattress every year. You should replace it about every 3 to 4 years.

Allergies can wreak havoc on your eyes, which may cause you to rub or tug at the skin around your eyes. Any allergens, bacteria or problematic substances will be transferred from your fingers to your eyes, which may increase your discomfort. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling pets, plants or other common sources of allergens.

Tear out permanently installed carpeting in your home in order to reduce your exposure to allergens. Carpeting typically collect the dust and hair that can cause allergic reactions. If you use rugs over wood flooring, you should take them to be dry cleaned at least every other week to get rid of allergens that build up.

One way to keep allergies under control is to make sure that your carpet is clean. This is critical because allergy-causing things, such as dust mites will live in your rug and multiply unless you clean your carpet on a regular basis. Weekly vacuuming combined with bi-yearly steam cleaning should be enough.

Nasal irrigation symptoms, like nett pots and non-drowsy antihistamines, like Claritin, are both options for dealing with allergies that are inexpensive and easy. Staying informed about your options is the best way to deal with your allergy symptoms. Remember the tips in this article, so you can stop sneezing constantly!

The Journey to the Sweet Sixteen

“March Madness” is real. The NCAA Mens’ National Championship Basketball tournament started last week and has provided 6 straight days of college basketball excitement. The opening round  “Play-in” games were the appetizer as USC,Mt.St. Mary’s, Kansas State and UC Davis all picked up victories and advanced to the field of 64.


Then came the main course,  round one where 12th seeded Middle Tennessee State upset the 5th seed of the South Region (Minnesota) by nine points; The 11th Seed in the West Region ( Xavier) did the same  to the 6th seeded Maryland Terrapins by  nine points.USC who was the only team to play in the “Play-in” games  and advance to round two grabbed a one point win over SMU. Northwestern who was in the tournament for the first time in school history picked up the schools first tournament victory beating Vanderbilt by two.


That set up the stage for second round action with a field of thirty-two teams left in the tournament. On the first day of second round action the highlight of the day took place in the East Region, where Wisconsin the 8th seed knocked off the Villanova Wildcats by three points. The senior laden Badgers Lead at the half 31-27  and in the second half  Villanova came back and had a seven point lead with under five minutes left  in the game. The Badgers charged back and tied the game with less than 20 seconds left before scoring their final three points and winning the game 65-62  punching  their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth year in a row.


The excitement of the second round did not stop there as Northwestern looking for their second tournament win in school history gave Gonzaga (the top seed in the West Region) all they could handle before succumbing to the Bulldogs 79-73. Day two of second round action saw two big upsets as Michigan knocked off Louisville (The second seed in the Midwest Region) 73-69 and South Carolina overcame a slow start to upset Duke (the second seed in the East Region) 88-81.The South Carolina win gives the Gamecocks their first trip to the Sweet Sixteen in school history;The Gamecocks reward will be third seeded Baylor. 


The  “Sweet Sixteen”  action tips off on Thursday  with Michigan battling Oregon; West Virginia and Gonzaga tip off 30 minutes later. The  two late games feature  Purdue against Kansas ,followed by Arizona and Xavier.  Friday the action will continue  with Butler taking on North Carolina and South Carolina battling Baylor in the early games. Friday night UCLA and Kentucky face off in a battle between the second and third seeds in the South Region, with Wisconsin facing Florida in the night cap.


The Tournament will not lose any excitement in the upcoming action,There are still three number one seeds in the final Sixteen teams ( Gonzaga, Kansas and North Carolina)two number two seeds (Arizona and Kentucky ) and Three teams that are seeded number three in their respective region (Oregon,Baylor and UCLA). So there is plenty of fire power left as this weekends action will whittle 16 down to the Final four. The lowest Seed breaking into the “Sweet Sixteen” is Xavier who is an 11th seed and I for one doubt that the team from Ohio with 23 wins this season and 11 losses is really an eleven seed in any region. Keep your eye on the four seeds (West Virginia,Purdue,Butler and Florida) as they are all still around, but the seven seeds (Michigan and South Carolina) are the dangerous teams as they are the giant killers. Speaking of giant killers 8th seeded Wisconsin who eliminated the defending champ is also still around. Who will be your final four?


Reach out and talk about the tournament  at 

Follow me  on Twitter  @UMTSportsreport 

Trevin A Jones 


Top ab exercises for women


Every woman wants tights abs. Swimsuit season is almost here, and that means hot bikinis by the beaches. Every year this a goal that each woman strives to meet. If you’re serious about making it this year, now is a good time to start. Try these simple abdominal exercises below to get your torso into shape before those bikinis go on sale.

One exercise you can try is the mountain climber. Get your body into the push-up position. Your neck and head should be aligned with your spine. Your elbows and legs should be straight. Your feet should be straight and be supporting your body on the toes. Now, shift all the weight to your arms as you rotate your legs, bending your legs and bringing them to their chest under your body. Move one leg forward at a time and then move it back. When your right foot comes back to the starting position, move your left leg forward, knee to chest. Start to get faster the more you move along. Complete a set of ten to fifteen repetitions per set.

The bicycle kick is another abdominal exercise. Lay on your back and rest one foot flat on the floor, bent at the knee. Bend the other knee and bring it forward to your chest, touching it with the opposite arm’s elbow. If you bring your left leg forward, touch it with your right elbow. This helps to tighten abdominal muscles within your middle section. Move slowly at first and then pick up speed. Repeat this exercise ten times.

The criss-cross crunch is another great abdominal exercise. In this exercise, you lay flat on your back with your legs at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands, inter-locked, behind your head to support it. Then, move one leg forward and touch it with the opposing arm. This means that your left leg would touch your right elbow. And, your right leg would touch your left knee. Each time you touch your knee, hold for a count of five. Then, release and return to the starting position. Do two sets of ten.

Sit-ups may also be considered an abdominal exercise. Start by laying on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Move your arms, so they are pointing straight in the air. Now, move into a sitting position by reaching your hands to your knees. Hold each sit-up for a good abdominal stretch and release. Continue doing sit-ups for the next 60 seconds, setting a record and moving past it each time you do this exercise.

Finally, move onto your side and lean on your elbow to support your head. Place your remaining hand on your hip. Bend your bottom leg, but keep your top leg straight. Now, lift your top leg above your hip bone. Hold your leg in this position for a few seconds and move it back to the resting position. Do ten repetitions of each side to have tighter abdominals. If you incorporate all these exercises into your exercise routine, you’re going to have tighter abs just in time for swimsuit season.

Turn Any Meal Into A True Gourmet Experience With These Simple Tips

Cooking may not be for everyone, but if you feel it is for you, you should be getting more information and advice to ensure you are getting some good meal ideas together. There are various things to consider when cooking, so use the advice in this article to understand better what role you are taking on.

Consider recipes to be guidelines rather than rules. Feel free to branch out and switch up the spices or add an extra ingredient. Before long you will be compiling your personal collection of altered recipes that are better than the original thing. Not only will you also be able to impress your friends with unique dishes, but you will become a better cook as you experiment with changing recipes.

When deep frying foods, hold the food below the oil with the tongs for a few seconds. Holding the food under the oil for around five seconds will create a useful seal around the food. This seal will work to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Use a collapsible steamer basket to make the best-steamed vegetables. These devices are available widely and cheaply. They can slip into almost any pot you already have and can be used for virtually any vegetable you would like to enjoy. Be sure to watch your cook time to avoid getting mushy vegetables.

For pasta that is cooked all the way perfectly through, do not place it the in water until the water is boiling. Pasta cooks from the outside in, so to keep your pasta all one texture you need to cook it at the same consistent temperature from the beginning to the end.

Make sure you are storing your spices in the right place. Many people store their spices right above their stove or near a light source. To stay fresh, put them in a dry and dark spot that is cool. Humidity can also destroy spices so keep those several factors in mind.

Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut accurately and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!

Are you preparing a dish with fresh basil? Get a sprout of fresh basil and place it in a glass. The stems will then need to be covered with water. Set the glass on the kitchen counter or windowsill to maintain its freshness for weeks. Even if the water is varied on occasion, the basil will still grow their roots regardless. By cutting or trimming the basil on occasion, it will increase even further, so you can have fresh basil for quite a while.

Brownies made for a bake sale are much more enticing when potential buyers can see what goodies are in them. To accomplish this task, when the pan of brownies has about eight minutes left of baking time, remove the pan from the oven, cover the top with a layer of miniature marshmallows and then sprinkle chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, caramel chunks and anything else you like to add to your brownies on top of the marshmallows. Put the pan back into the oven for the final few minutes of baking to allow the marshmallows to soften and toast and give time for the chips to melt. When the pan comes out, you will have an irresistible pan of brownies that look as good as they taste.

One important tip to remember when cooking dishes focuses on the size of the dish being prepared. The smaller the dish is that you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature and less time needed to cook the dish. Smaller dishes take only a few minutes at high temperatures to fully cook.

You should use your freezer bags more than one time. You need to store your meats or vegetables in regular storage bags and then place them into freezer bags so that you can use them repeatedly. Freezer bags are very expensive, and this will cut back on your costs each month.

Avoid cooking with wine that you ordinarily would not find palatable to drink. If you mix random wines into your food, you may find that the wine you have chosen spoils the dish. You could try a wine that is specially formulated for cooking purposes.

After finishing up your Thanksgiving dinner, don’t just discard the leftovers. Cut it up, put it in an airtight container, store it in the freezer and use it later. This will help the turkey to stay fresh over the next few weeks so that you can make sandwiches with the leftovers.

When you have taken enough celery off the stalk for your recipe, place the rest of it in aluminum foil and then place it in the refrigerator. The celery will stay fresh for at least a week by following this method, and it will still have the same taste as when it was first bought.

After you have cut up meats on your counter, be sure to thoroughly wipe the counters and chopping boards down with a disinfectant. You need to disinfect knives also. Keep separate chopping boards for uncooked and cooked foods. Many people get salmonella poisoning each year because they ingested food that was prepared on an unclean counter or chopping board. This is especially important if you prepare food for children or the elderly.

Treat your herbs like fresh flowers. If you are tired of your fresh herbs going to waste before you can use them all, don’t keep them in the refrigerator. Instead, trim the stems and place them in a vase in which you would like to keep freshly cut flowers. You will keep the herbs alive and healthy much longer.

Cooking can be fun if you have a passion for it, but there are some things you want to be serious about. Use the cooking tips from this article to get a better foundation for your cooking style and learn a few new things to try in the kitchen.

Simple exercises that reduce belly fat


Each day I go to the gym, and there’s a lady on an exercise mat. She’s hard at work doing crunches, mountain climbers, and planks. Her stomach is tight, and she hasn’t a muffin top or love handles. But I wonder how she looked when she started. Maybe she had my relentless muffin top that never goes away. If you have stubborn belly fat, it’s time to work it out. Soon you can have a flat belly too!

First, start with the crunch. Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your hands behind your head. Now, without removing your feet, lift your head and neck towards your chest. Raise your shoulders off your exercise mat as well. You should be feeling a stretch in your abdominal muscles. If you want more of a challenge, try the criss-cross crunch. Bend your legs at the knees but hold them at a 90-degree angle in the air. Then, cross your left arm to your right knee. You’ll cross your right arm to your left knee. Do two sets of ten crunches.

Another exercise is called the roll up. Lay flat on the floor with your arms straight in the air. Do not bend them at the elbows. Make sure your toes are pointing to the sky. Now, sit up and touch your toes. Do as many as you can within sixty seconds. Take a break. Do two more sets of sixty-second intervals with a break in-between. The opposing exercise to this is called pulse ups. Lay on your back and lift your legs straight into the air without bending. Do the same sets as the previous exercise with this exercise.

Bird dogs is another exercise that works the abdominal muscles. Start the exercise by getting onto your hands and knees. Make sure your head and neck are aligned with your spine. Then, move out your left leg and your right arm. Do not bend either one but keep them straight. Hold to the count of five and return to the starting position. Now move out your right leg and left arm. Count to five and return to the starting position. Do a set of ten.

Likewise, another exercise is toe touch. Lie on your back and lift your legs straight into the air without bending. Now, lift your arms straight into the air. Just as you did with the roll up exercise, move your hands toward your toes. You should feel your adnominal muscles hard at work as they get tighter. Hold each stretch for a count of five and release. Complete a set of ten and rest.

Finally, let’s end with crunch claps. Get back into the crunch position. You should be on your back, but one leg should be flat while the other is bent at a 90-degree angle. Your head and neck should be aligned with your spine. Now, move forward to do a crunch. As you approach your leg that is balanced in the air, clap underneath your leg and return to the resting position. Complete ten crunch claps per side. Then take a break and come back tomorrow for more!

Ray Jr. on Sports

  1. Steelers Free Agency-To no surprise, the Steelers haven’t made the headlines in NFL Free Agency like other teams have, but we knew it was a matter of time before they started looking at players as they’ve looked at a few, but only ended up signing one: WR Justin Hunter, a 6-4, 203 pound speed receiver who last played for the Buffalo Bills.
  2. Was signing Hunter a smart move? You betcha. He’s a special talent that just needs the right QB and I think he’ll get that with Ben Roethlisberger. The question is, where will he hit? That’s not a question that needs to be answered right now as it’s still the off season, but I would put Hunter over Sammie Coates and Cobi Hamilton right now and even put him in Martavis Bryant’s spot if he doesn’t get reinstated by the NFL.
  3. What is Bryant’s response to the Hunter comparisons? It’s an honest shame that the suspended WR would even open his mouth right now, but yes he did as he said on Twitter: “Stop it with tnonsensense people and go check my film out and compare it.”-Bryant needs to grow up. Yes, he’s a better WR than Hunter (as far as stats) but he’s saying that about a teammate and going to social media with it. Plus, he’s still suspended. Zip it, man.
  4. LB Donta’ Hightower rejects Steelers to return the to Patriots-I mean, can you blame him? The man won 2 rings with the Pats and they were willing to pay the money. Players will always resonate with that. I’ll give the Steelers credit for giving him an offer, but he also received an offer from the NY Jets too. The decision was up to Hightower and he made what he thought was best. End of story.
  5. Vince Williams-He’s truly the forgotten man in all of this free agent talk. Williams is truly an underrated player, but his skills have been stellar as an inside LB For the Steelers. Folks forget that he was a 6th round draft pick that started 11 games his rookie season and has filled in with Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier were out with injuries. Plus the Steelers gave him a contract extension last season. He might be the answer to replacing Timmons. He’ll certainly get his shot.
  6. Other NFL Free Agents-The Dallas Cowboys re-signed RB Darren McFadden to back up starter Ezekiel Elliott. That’s not a bad move, especially after McFadden had 1,000 yards for the Cowboys in 2015. Plus, he’s a proven veteran that has had success with the Oakland Raiders. The NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons signed DT Dontari Poe from the KC Chiefs. He was the one who took a snap on offense and threw a TD pass against the Denver Broncos last season.
  7. Other NFL News-To he honest, not much else is going on, which is usually the case after the the first week of Free Agency. It is rather interesting that RB Adrian Peterson still hasn’t been signed. I just knew the Seahawks would get him, but they signed Eddie Lacy, formerly of Green Bay. But teams are seriously turning their attention towards the NFL prospects and the upcoming Draft which will take place in April.
  8. NCAA Tournament-Ah yes, it’s Dancing time as the field of 68 has officially begun. Do you fill out a bracket? I do not. In fact the last time I did so was in 2007, so that says a lot. As for the games, I love the possibility of upsets, and one almost took place Thursday as Notre Dame held off Princeton 60-58. (other early Finals)#1 seed Gonzaga got past South Dakota St. 66-46, Butler beat Winthrop 76-64 and Virginia beat UNC Wilmington 76-71.
  9. Early Final Four Prediction-It’s never easy to predict these games, but I can see Villanova, West Virginia (Yeah, I said it), Louisville, and North Carolina getting there, with Villanova getting the repeat vs. Louisville. But it’s still early. My prediction might change next week.
  10. West Virginia wins 1st round Game-Speaking of the Mountaineers, they made a step towards a Final Four appearance after beating Bucknell 86-80. G Kimbal Mackenzie led the way with 23 points and they will now face Notre Dame on Saturday. That should be a good one.
  11. Pitt basketball-Yes, the team continues to make news even though they’re out of any kind of tournament play for the first time since 2000. Unfortunately, the news isn’t the best as G Crisshawn Clark and F Corey Manigault have both decided to transfer from the school.
  12. Pitt’s future-These recent departures (along with G Justice Kithart being dismissed) and the graduations of F Mike Young, Jamel Artis, Sheldon Jeter and G Chris Jones will basically give Pitt a new look next season. The will still have G Cameron Johnson and F Ryan Luther and big man Rozelle Nix, and possible G Damon Wilson, but the rest of the spots will be filled by newcomers. HC Kevin Stallings will certainly have his work cut out for him.
  13. Indiana fires HC Tom Crean-I was shocked by this. Crean coached the Hoosiers for 9 seasons and led them to the Sweet 16 3 times, but they hadn’t been to the NCAA Tournament in 4 years and the team truly hasn’t been the same since Bob Knight left over 20 years ago. I can’t imagine Crean being totally done with coaching and I’m sure he’ll have a few suitors in the off season.
  14. Pitt football begins Spring Drills-Yessir, the preparation for the 2017 CFB season is underway and this Pitt team is pretty excited as they take the practice field. Unfortunately it won’t include most of the recruits as they need to finish high school, but QB grad-transfer Max Browne from USC can show what he’s got as he’ll be trying to take that starting job. They are also going into these drills without RB James Conner for the first time since 2013.
  15. NBA Standings-As the regular season is close to reaching it’s end, here are the league’s best records: In the Western Conference, Golden St. (53-14) and San Antonio (52-15) continue to fight for the overall best record and in the East, Cleveland (44-22) continues to hold off Boston (43-25) for the conference’ s best record.
  16. Is that the Washington Wizards? No, seriously. Are they really the 3rd best team in the East? At 41-26, they sure are. G John Wall (23.2) and Bradley Beal (also 23.2) are truly leading this team and kudos to former OKC Coach Scott Brooks for getting this team together.
  17. Chicago’s Dwyane Wade out the rest of the season-Once again, the injury bug has hit this veteran and I’m thinking he should call it a career. This time, Wade suffered an elbow fracture which doesn’t require surgery. Wade said it’s too soon to think about his future.
  18. NBA MVP candidates-I would still give it to OKC’s Russell Westbrook who is still getting those Triple-Doubles. He’s been on fire since the start of the season. Houston’s James Harden will certainly be runner-up, followed by the Cavs LeBron James, who’s basically an MVP candidate every season.
  19. Pirates Exhibition Season-I will be the first to say that the preseason doesn’t matter, but I have to admit that the Pirates 13-5 record is an eyebrow-raiser. That record is good for 2nd place in the Grapefruit League(the Cactus League is the other) starting pitchers Jameson Tallion, Ivan Nova and Steve Hutchinson have all impressed and Utility Man Adam Frazier has impressed with the bat and his positive attitude. But it’s still a few weeks to go before we can really see what they’re all about.
  20. Pedro Alvarez rejoins the Orioles-A player like this shouldn’t be a free agent long, and Alvarez wasn’t as he rejoins the Orioles on a minor league contact, which is a surprise to me. The dude may be a defensive liability, but he still hit 22 home runs last season. And they’re trying him out in the outfield?? Well, at least he has a good attitude about it.

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NBA Teams Making Final Playoff Push

The NBA regular season is winding up opposed to winding down. There are less than 16 games left in the regular season and many teams are still in contention to fill the 16 available postseason spots. In the Eastern conference the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors would have to have complete meltdowns not to qualify for the postseason. Those teams fill up half of the Eastern conference playoff spots, leaving Atlanta, half gameIndiana, Detroit and Milwaukee holding on to the final four spots.


Milwaukee (who is only a game behind the Pistons) is holding onto the final spot in the East with a half games lead over Chicago and Miami. Tonight the Bucks who are on a five game winning streak pay a visit to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Bulls will try to protect their home as they get  a visit from the Memphis Grizzlies; both teams are looking to put an end  to four game losing streaks. The funny thing about the Bucks, Bulls, and Heat is that all three teams have losing records and still have a shot at making the playoffs. The Bucks  who have not won an NBA title since 1971 are led by “The Greek Freak” (Giannis  Antetokounmpo) and his 23 points per game, But  Milwaukee is having a difficult time winning on the road. They have won less than half of the 30 games  played away from home and tonight  starts their  five game road trip (now is not the time the Bucks  would want to be away from home).


The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat aren’t any better than Milwaukee when playing on the road. The Bulls have only won 13 of their 34 games played away from home and the Heat have only won 14 of their 35 games on foreign courts. I bring up the teams success away from home because if any one of the three make the playoffs they will not have home court advantage. That means their track records away from home could be a major indicator as to how successful each team would be in the  Post Season. I think there will actually be a battle for the last four playoff spots in the East due to the fact that teams ranked 5  through 10 are only separated  by five games.


In the Western Conference things are a little more interesting at the top. The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have the two best records in the league. The Warriors and the Spurs  have already clinched play off spots. Translation you may see stars like Warriors guard Steph Curry and San Antonio’s Kwahi Leonard getting nights off as the regular season winds down. But all is not well in the land of Oakland or in San Anton; both teams are missing big men. Golden State hopes that Kevin Durant can return from a knee injury in time for the playoffs  and the Spurs are without forward LaMarcus Aldridge who is out indefinitely since March 11th due to a minor heart arrhythmia. So as the post season draws near fans in Oakland and San Antonio are hopeful for the return of their big time forwards.


Following the Warriors and Spurs are the Houston Rockets who are six games behind the leaders.Then there are the  Utah Jazz  who are 10 games behind the top three. The next four spots are held down by the L.A. Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies and the Denver Nuggets and it looks like the top five teams are locks for the post season . There is only a seven game difference between the 6th and 9th place teams. Meanwhile Denver  holds down the final qualifying post season spot and is only ahead of the Portland Trailblazers by two games.That being said the battle in the West will be for that final playoff spot as Portland,theMinnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks are honing in on the Nuggets as there are only 4 games that separate all four teams.

Story Update:  San Antonio Spurs Forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been cleared to return to full action and is expected to suit up Wednesday against the  Portland Trailblazers.


So as I said earlier the NBA Regular season is winding up not down as teams make that last playoff push. Let me know who you think the NBA’s final four will be at


Trevin A Jones


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UMT Sports Update

Here’s what’s happening in the world of Sports…

  1. College Basketball


  1. NCAA Tournament-Yes, March Madness is here and the remaining relevant 68 teams of the 2016-17 College Basketball season get to duke it out over the next three weeks. To no surprise, defending National Champion Villanova is the #1 overall seed, followed by last year’s runner-up North Carolina, Kansas and Gonzaga, who spent most of the season at #1.
  2. National Invitational Tournament-There isn’t much to say about the tournament that

Takes what the NCAA Tournament doesn’t want, but one of their #1 seeds made the news as Syracuse’s game against UNC Greensboro at the Carrier Dome has been postponed until Wednesday at 7 pm because of Winter Storm Stella.

  1. Pitt Basketball-Yes, we know that this is the first time since 2000 that the Panthers will not play In any College basketball postseason, but they also made news as Freshman Corey Manigault announced that he’s leaving the school as well as, Crisshawn Clark. Their departures will force HC Kevin Stallings to fill two more roster spots before the start of the 2017-18 season.

  1. National Football League


  1. Pittsburgh Steelers-In lieu of them losing WR Markus Wheaton and LB Lawrence Timmons, the Steelers have now watched LB Jarvis Jones walk out the door as he signed with the Arizona Cardinals Tuesday. The former 2012 first round draft pick out of Georgia wasn’t a smashing success as a Steeler as he only had six sacks in 4 years. In contrast, 38-year old LB James Harrison had five sacks in 2016 alone. Plus he beat out Jones for the starting job in 2016. It doesn’t seem like the Steelers will miss him.


  1. .LB Dont’a Hightower visits Steelers-He was scouted by the Steelers back in 2013 until they snatched up G David DeCastro, and now they have expressed interest in the LB who was drafted by the New England Patriots and won 2 rings of the past three seasons. Hightower braved the cold weather to visit the Steelers offices but ended up leaving without a contract. The Steelers also hosted CB Javon House with hopes of signing him, but he ended up accepting a 1-year deal from the Green Bay Packers.


  1. .NFL Free Agency News-Here’s what else happened in the world of NFL Free Agency: Former Packers RB Eddie Lacy signed with Seattle who also saw former DE Dantone Jones sign with Minnesota. The Patriots sign former Cincinnati RB Rex Burkhead to a 1-year deal.



  1. National Basketball League


  1. San Antonio Spurs have NBA’s Best Record-For the past three seasons, it had been the Golden State Warriors who won the most, but right behind them, it was usually the Spurs, who’re probably the most underrated 60-win team ever. But now the Spurs have now tied the Warriors for the best mark. We know there’s still lots of regular season games left, but it’s also a reminder of just how good the Western Conference is.
  2. Cavs sign C Larry Sanders-After C Andrew Bogut suffered a season-ending injury 58 seconds into his debut; the Cleveland Cavaliers turned their attention to Sanders, who was a defensive specialist during his years in Milwaukee. He hasn’t played in almost two years so time will tell if he can be the player that the struggling Cavs need right now.
  3. Former NBA Great Robinson has brain hemorrhage- Portland Trail Blazers forward Cliff Robinson announced Tuesday that he is still hospitalized after suffering a minor brain hemorrhage, saying he “will be in rehabilitation for a while.” Best wishes to the former All-Star.



  1. National Hockey League


  1. Penguins fall to Flames-It took a shootout, but the Calgary Flames ended up beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in Calgary Monday night despite goals by Sidney Crosby and Evangi Malkin. The loss kept the defending Stanley Cup Champions (43-16-9) from taking first place in the Metropolitan Division. Their next game is Friday night at PPG Paints Arena.


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