Georgetown and North Carolina could have a basketball rematch quicker than you think. How about Nov. 20? The Tip-Off Classic at Springfield, Mass., has the two 1982 NCAA finalists in its sights to open '82-83 season, but might opt to get Kentucky and Louisville, at long last, on court together. Kentucky Coach Joe B. Hall has "no objection." Or, anyway, he says, "no say-so about who we would play."

But television does. It might even call for Kentucky-Georgetown (Bowie vs. Ewing). And when TV wants . . . Michigan-Notre Dame for a prime time football date, it simply takes $50,000 from petty cash, finds an inventor and installs a portable lighting system in Notre Dame's stadium. ABC, Sept. 18 . . . Even the Big Ten is in for arc lit football, now that Minnesota's regents stamp a three-year pact for HHH Metrodome as home field. All right, but laments one regent: "It's hard to beat a sunny afternoon in Memorial Stadium with the autumn colors . . . and go down to the cold blue of the dome. It will take a lot of maroon and gold to warm up the stadium" . . .

The ABC-TV crew at Aqueduct today might tell you that Mary Russ, the Florida jockey sensation debuting at Aqueduct aboard Our Escapade, is not the first woman to ride in the Wood Memorial. Robyn Smith was 11th on 53-1 Right Mind in 1974 . . . Some scene Thursday night at Rosecroft, folks rummaging the floor and trash receptacles for discarded tickets on Frans Romeo. That pacer, even money in the second race, broke stride an eighth mile before start, but there was no recall and the mobile gate released the rest. Frans Romeo never reached the starting line. About 40 bettors beleaguered the security office and, although U.S. Trotting Association rules don't require it, raceway management decreed check refunds to holders of tickets on F.R. . . .

Closed circuit set for Hearns-Hagler from Windsor, Ontario, May 24, and count Capital Centre in; tickets newly on sale ($15 for first 5,000, then $20) . . . Ring death, first for Atlantic City: Fred Bowman, collapsed after casino TKO by Gino Perez Feb. 28, 1981, in coma since, expired in a Youngstown, Ohio, nursing home . . . Gerry Cooney, shoulder fine and flooring a sparmate now and again at Kiamesha Lake, N.Y., breaks camp Sunday for a publicity tour, then Palm Springs, Calif., training for Larry Holmes in Vegas June 11.

United States lost to Italy, 7-5, so is the only 0-2 team of eight in the World Hockey Championships. Italians' first WHC win since 1959, first over USA since '32 Olympics. Italy's bunch of former Canadian or U.S. citizens beat a Yank squad laden with NHL players . . . Canada lost, too, 6-2 to Czechoslovakia. U.S.S.R. 4, Sweden 3, leaving Soviets the only 2-0 side . . .

Tragedy on a New Orleans course: Michael Scaglione, 26, threw his club against a golf cart. It broke. The head flew. Hit him in the throat, fatally severing his jugular.

Waived: by Padres, Rick Wise, 18-year man with three years left at $400,000 per . . .

Correction, the check Joe Gibbs presents Capital Children's Museum at its Breakfast With Champions (800 Third St. NE, today) will be from NFL Charities, not NFLPA.

A. Leesburg's big-league catcher: Maurice (Toby) Atwell (Cubs, Pirates, Braves, 1952-56) . . . Q. What is the "Red Sea Defense"?