Brian Magia, George Washington University basketball guard via transfer from Maryland, returned to Cole Field House Yesterday to practice for tonight's game against the Terrapins. Nothing has changed. He was still the first player on the court.

For GW, the 8 p.m. game, following a 5:30 contest between the highly ranked Maryland women and North Carolina, may be the last of a 56-game series that started in 1912. There is considerable doubt whether the teams will play in the future.

It goes back three years, when then-Maryland Athletic Director Jim Kehoe wanted GW to play in the fourteam season-opening Tipoff Tournament and to drop the regular season games. Bob Faris, GW's athletic director, agreed to the tournament, but wanted to keep the regular season games.

Kehoe then declared that the 1979 regular-season game would mark the end of the series. After 17 straight losses to the Terps, GW has won the last two games and the series stands 29-26 in favor of Maryland, going into tonight's game.

Both Faris and Carl James, Maryland's new athletic director, hare expressed interest in keeping the rivalry going and plan to meet soon to discuss it. But Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell is not in favor of it. The Tipoff Tournament was partly his idea, a way for the schools involved to make money and for Maryland to avoid regular season games Terp players consider meaningless.

Meanwhile, especially the last two years, the Maryland game has been the biggest on GW's schedule.

Maryland (9-2) takes a seven-game winning streak into tonight's game against GW, which struggled through December with a 4-4 record. GW forward Tom Glenn, who suffered a broken hand in early December, is expected to start tonight, but guard Bob Lindsay is still out with a knee injury and Magid is starting in his place, averaging 10 points a game.

American University faces a stiff challenge in Extending its school-record eight-game winning streak with an 8 p.m. contest against West Vir ginia (5-3) at Morgantowm. The Eagles' star sophomore forward Russell (Boo) Bowers is playing his best basketball of the 8-3 season, coming off MVP honors in the Tangerine Bowl tournament.