Georgetown Athletic Director Frank Rienzo said yesterday he is optimistic that the Hoyas will meet Virginia this coming season in a game that would match the best two centers in college basketball--Ralph Sampson and Patrick Ewing.

Rienzo and Virginia Athletic Director Dick Schultz have been working toward completing plans for the game, which could be played in December at Capital Centre. The game would almost certainly be broadcast nationally by CBS television.

"If we do play it in the Capital Centre, we may as well go to a (alternating) home-and-home series arrangement," Rienzo said. Schultz could not be reached for comment yesterday, but another Virginia spokesman said the Cavaliers do not consider a game at Capital Centre as an away game.

Another possible location is Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., the site of last year's nationally televised game between North Carolina and Kentucky on Dec. 26.

A Georgetown-Virginia matchup is "a good idea for basketball in the Washington area," Rienzo said. "Everybody involved is very serious about having this contest."

Georgetown will almost certainly play De Paul in February at Capital Centre, and a contest against Sampson and Virginia would be one of the most attractive matches in this or any other season.

Sampson, the NCAA's player of the year the past two seasons, announced Friday he will remain at Virginia for his senior year. The Cavaliers are 83-18 in Sampson's three seasons.