Digger Phelps already has started the psychological warfare for Notre Dame's confrontation March 5 with No. 1 San Francisco in South Bend.

"They'll prove they are No. 1 if they come in here and beat us," predicted Phelps, the giant killer when UCLA brought its assorted winning streaks to the Irish court.

The game, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was moved so it could be televised nationally by NBC (WRC-4) starting at 12:30 p.m. EST. dingbat.

Thanks to a recent rule change, Maryland will be eligible to play in the National Invitation Tournament. In past years, schools hosting an NCAA tournament regional playoff could not accept a NIT bid. But that prohibition has been dropped, so the Terrapins can go to New York - if invited - while school officials are hosting the Eastern regional.

The NIT is operating under a revised format this year. The field will include only eight teams and there is a possibility that some premilinary playoffs, held at out-of-New York sites, will be staged to give more squads a shot at going to the big city.

This could be a vintage year for the NIT, with enough quality teams to fill a 12-school bracket. Such standouts as Maryland, Alabama, Purdue, Washington State, Oregon State, Memphis State and possibly even Marquette may be available.