Capital Centre as home court for Georgetown's basketball Hoyas begin to come true today at a 1:30 p.m. news conference, barring an upset.

GU Coach John Thompson, engaged in prepping the East team for the basketball segment of the National Sports Festival in Syracuse, is expected to fly in for the announcement that at least a dozen of his touted varsity's games this winter will be moved from 4,000-seat McDonough Arena on campus out to Abe Pollin's 19,500-capacity plant in Landover. . .

Busy fellow, Thompson. He and Jerry Claiborne of Maryland football were in the blue-ribbon coaches' group in Kansas City last week that unanimously supported NCAA headquarters followed with the word that the Division I men's basketball committee had decided, despite considerable push to expand to 64 teams, to continue with a 48-team format for the championship basketball tournament -- but to go along with the coaches' long-standing desire to discontinue the who-cared third-place game as of next time around. So it will be, March 27 in New Orleans' Superdome, Mideast regional winner against West, Midwest versus East; March 29, grand finale with no consolation prelim -- and, let's hope, no assassination attempts to fret over. . .

Another thing about Abe Pollin. The obituary on Joe Kreuter, a cancer victim at 19, in the July 4 Washington Post retold the November newspaper story of how the youth had turned to volunteer work with a program called Healing Heart after being barred from treatment at National Institutes of Health as an incorrigible. Addicted to painkillers for the sarcoma that afflicted him since he was 16, he was living on the streets, too rebellious to go home. There's a poignant final touch to the story, from Burt Dietch of Bethesda:

"(Late last month) I wrote Abe Pollin that I was associated with . . .Healing Heart, which is designed to be supportive of children with catastrophic illness. . . At age 16, Joe apparently had a bright future in basketball, so (now) I requested a signed (Bullets) team ball for Joe. A few days after I mailed my letter, Joe reentered Arlington Hospital. June 30, I received a call (from Pollin's secretary, saying the boss wanted to have a ball hand-delivered that morning). I visited Joe that afternoon and gave him the ball. Joe had just come back from radiation treatment, was very fatigued but lucid and so very appreciative of the ball, signed by Wes Unseld. Joe died the next day. Friends who were with him told me he died peacefully, actually clutching the basketball". . .

More sad news: Burrell McGhee, Kent State's all-time basketball scorer (1,710 points, 1976-79) shot to death; family quarrel. . . Hilmer Kenty, the former WBA lightweight champion, facing the possibility his ring career is over; in the wake of his only loss in 21 pro fights, the dethroning by Sean O'Grady, an eye injury was discovered, and surgeons have re-attached the retina. . . Roger Doucet, famed for his stirring renditions of "O Canada" at Montreal Canadiens hockey games, dead at 62, malignant brain tumor. His last words before he lapsed into a coma a week ago: "When am I going to work again?"

Juan Samaranch, the IOC president, at opening of the World University Games in Bucharest, said a U.S. rugby tour by South Africans in September indeed could precipitate a black African boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Samaranch said he had spoken with the L.A. organizers and "I am sure they will do everything possible to prevent these matches from taking place". . .

When/if Mitch Kupchak reports to the Lakers, he might just run into a candidate for the team named Nancy Lieberman. Never mind the Indiana Pacers' fiasco with Annie Meyers, Los Angeles owner Jerry Buss reportedly has encouraged Old Dominion/Women's Basketball League star Lieberman to try it.

The 11th annual Lee Elder Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament is set for Elder's Langston municipal course on Benning Road Aug. 21-23, with Washington's man on the PGA tour (at age 47, amazingly an upward-bound No. 47 on the 1981 money list) and wife Rose, as usual the head honcho, aiming to double last year's attendance and boost their scholarship fund. Firm commitment already from Jerry Pate, almost firm one from Lee Trevino, and Bob Hope aiming to make up for late change in plans last time. Et al. This year's Elder scholarship awardee: Aundrelle Robinson, a junior golfer (although recipients needn't be), headed from H.D. Woodson High to Livingstone College. . .