Maryland's basketball team finally received a bit of good news yesterday in a heretofore disastrous week when forward Steve Sheppard was cleared for action in today's 1 p.m. nationally televised game against North Carolina at sold-out Cole Field House.

Sheppard is suffering from a slight strain of his left Achilles tendon, an injury he incurred in practice Monday. He played Tuesday in the Terrapins' embarassing 93-71 loss to Clemson, but was not at full strength. according to team trainers.

Sheppard visited team physician Dr. Stanford Lavine yesterday. He diagnosed the injury as a strain and recommended a different taping method to aid the senior forward's jumping and movement.

Maryland will need a healthy Sheppard agains the Tar Heels, ranked fourth in the country before being upset Wednesday night by North Carolina State.

North Carolina comes into today's affair with a 12-2 mark, 4-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Maryland is 12-3 overall. 1-2 in the ACC and struggling.

James (Turk) Tillman was dismissed from the squad and Billy Bryant is out three to six weeks with a broken hand, giving Maryland a serious depth problem at guard. Freshman Jo Jo Hunter will probably start at one guard spot today, with brian Magid in reserve.

Elsewhere around the area, there are several intriguing matchups for connoisseurs of the college game.

Seton Hall, 11-4 and featuring the nation's leading rebounder in Glenn Mosley (17 rebounds per game), comes into McDonough Gymnasium for an 8 p.m. game against Georgetown. 11-3.

The Hoyas have lost their last three games against Seton Hall, but Georgetown has won 29 of its last 31 games at home and has a 7-0 record there this season.

George Washington, 8-5 hosts traditional rival West Virginia, 9-5. at Smith Center at 8 p.m. The Colonials have won the six meetings between the teams and the Mountaineers have lost four of five starts away from Morgantown this season.

George Washington, 8-5 hosts tradi-three-point loss to Rutgers and surely spent considerable time yesterday practicing free throws after missing 16 of 38 foul shots Thursday night.

American University, 8-7 entertains King College, 4-12. at Ft. Myer, also at 8 p.m. Kings started the season with an 11-game losing streak, but has since won four of five games.