Maryland will try to move into the top 10 for the first time in five years and Georgetown will try to move into the top 20 for the first time in two weeks when both schools face traditional nonconference rivals today.
The Terrapins (14-2), ranked 14th nationally, should succeed if they beat eight-ranked Notre Dame (11-2) in front of a national television audience at 1:30 p.m. (WRC-TV-4) at South Bend.
The Hoyas (12-5) probably will advance if they overcome Boo Bowers and American (9-8) at McDonough Arena at 8 p.m. (WTTG-TV-5).
George Washington University, 9-5 but just 2-4 in the Eastern Eight, faces a tough conference game at 2 p.m. (WDCA-TV-20) at West Virginia (7-8). The Mountaineers are always tough at home.
Other games tonight include Fordham (6-9) at Navy (8-6) at 7:30, Virginia (15-3), which plays on national TV for the first time ever Sunday at Ohio State, has a crucial conference game at home against N.C. State (11-4). The Wahoos are 4-2 in the ACC, tied for second with Clemson behind the leader, 6-1 Maryland.
George Mason (2-11) will be at James Madison (12-4) and UDC (11-7) at Lincoln (4-10).
The Georgetown-AU games matches two teams with injury problems up front. Georgetown center Ed. Spriggs, who hurt an ankle three games ago, is questionable. So is 6-foot-7 Jeff Bullis, who came through heart stress tests Thursday in good shape, but may not play.
AU lost center Bob (Piper) Harvey Wednesday when he fell and was hospitalized two nights with a neck injury and dizziness. Coach Gary Williams also was hurting up front since he had suspended forward Leon Kearney earlier.
The Eagles will rely even more on the wondrous Bowers, averaging 27 points a game, and on guard Robin Hoey, their only other legitimate scoring threat.
The Hoyas, who rebounded from their loss to St. John's with a solid win over U.S. International Wednesday, will rely as always on Craig Shelton and John Duren for most of their scoring.
They also will rely on tradition. The Hoyas have won 30 of the 37 games against AU, including an 88-80 win a year ago at Fort Myer. Duren and guard Eric (Sleepy) Floyd are scoring 46 of the team's 78 points a game.
In Morgantown, GW, which struggled to beat Catholic, 70-66, in overtime Thursday, will have to stop Lowes Moore (17.3 point average) if it is to pull off an upset. Dunbar's Greg Nance starts for the Mountaineers and averaged 14.3 points a game. GW's Brian Magid reigns as Eastern Eight player of the week.
Virginia, coming off a big win at Duke Wednesday, must avoid looking ahead to Ohio State. N.C. State has lost three straight but beat the Cavalers, 64-56, in their first meeting in Raleigh.
Maryland is one of the best teams Notre Dame has faced this year. Albert King (21.7), Ernest Graham (18.7) and Greg Manning (15.1) are shooting superbly, and the Terps are shooting 55 percent as a team.
The key to this game may be Maryland's ability to beat the Irish up and down the court. In a transition game, Maryland is probably a better team.In a slow, set-things-up contest, the Irish's inside strength might make the difference.
Digger Phelps will seek his 200th coaching win today. Lefty Driesell is looking for No. 390 . . . Driesell is 4-2 against Phelps, with a 67-66 win last year when the Irish were ranked first in the country.