According to a report by the Daily Press’ Norm Wood, Virginia Tech wing Ty Outlaw was charged last Thursday with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He cites a criminal report filed Wednesday to the Virginia Courts Case Information website.
Outlaw is a 6-foot-6 senior forward for the Hokies, and per Wood is still available at the moment to play Friday night in the NCAA tournament regional semifinal No. 1 seed Duke. Tech (26-8) is the No. 4 seed in the region.
Athletes charged with misdemeanors are subject to having their situations reviewed by athletic director Whit Babcock to “determine if there has been a violation of athletics department or team policies,” according to Tech athletic department policy. Athletes are required to “report the charge to his or her head coach (or assistant coach if the head coach is not available) as soon as possible after the arrest, and in all cases, prior to participation in the next organized athletic activity.”
If suspended this could be a blow to Virginia Tech’s chances to reach their first Elite 8 since 1967. Outlaw cans 45.6 percent of his 3-point attempts (78-of-171). He averages 8.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, which is 2nd on the team.
Here’s an outlook on Virginia Tech’s odds against Duke with this in mind.
Duke vs. Virginia Tech Betting Line & Preview
*Note: All betting information courtesy of OddsShark.
Duke Blue Devils (-8 at -115) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
Over/Under: 144.5 at -115
The line has shifted a point since the initial reveal, as Virginia Tech was only a 7-point underdog originally.
Even as an 8-point underdog, it seems the public is still leaning towards Virginia Tech. As OddsShark reveals, the Hokies have received 52 percent of the early picks. While the Blue Devils boast a 31-5 record this year, they’re 18-18 against the spread (ATS) while their opponent is 18-15-1.
Duke vs. Virginia Tech Prediction & Pick
Virginia Tech has had Duke’s number as of late, even prior to this season. In the last three meetings, the Hokies have posted a 2-1 record and covered the spread in two of those games as well. Those numbers are tough to put much stock into, though, as Mike Krzyzewski’s squad hasn’t faced the Hokies with Williamson in the mix.
It’s also worth noting that Duke hasn’t covered the spread to this point in the NCAA tournament. In their 23-point win over North Dakota State, they were 27.5-point favorites and were favored by 13 over UCF in the one-point victory. On the other side, Virginia Tech covered against Saint Louis in the opener and narrowly missed doing the same as 9.5-point favorites against Liberty, winning by nine.
Virginia Tech has played the Blue Devils close in recent matchups, but the loss of Outlaw shrinks the rotation. Buzz Williams needs all the bodies he can to deal with Zion Williamson and company. It’ll be a tough fight until Duke pulls away late.
Prediction: Duke Blue Devils 78, Virginia Tech Hokies 67
Pick: Duke Blue Devils +8