Virginia and Georgetown, both widely touted as contenders for the national championship, play exhibitions against visitors from eastern Europe tonight.
The Cavaliers, along with the announcers detailed to pronounce the visitors' names, have the toughest assignment. They meet the powerful Soviet National team at the Richmond Coliseum (WNVT-TV-53 at 8 p.m.). The Hoyas entertain Cibona, the Yugoslav club champion, at McDonough Gym in a game to be televised by WTTG-TV-5, also at 8.
The Soviets improved their record to 6-1 last night with a 102-89 victory over Vanderbilt, with only a one-point loss to Wichita State marring a highly successful tour. The other victories were over Pepperdine, Oregon, Fresno State, Washington State and Indiana, hardly home-court pushovers.
With two 7-2 centers, Arvidas Sabonis and Aleksandr Belostenny, the Soviets could give Virginia's Ralph Sampson a difficult night.
"The international game is pretty physical and the Russians will give us the kind of game which will tell us if we can rebound," said Virginia Coach Terry Holland. "If they miss a shot, they send five people to the boards and essentially bludgeon the ball into the goal."
This will be the second encounter with the Soviets for Sampson, forward Craig Robinson and guard Doug Newburg. All played as freshmen in 1979, when the Soviets beat Virginia at Charlottesville, 75-74.
A surprise starter for Virginia tonight is 6-7 forward Kent Edelin, a junior out of Hayfield High School who has moved ahead of Robinson.
Georgetown does not figure to be extended by Cibona, which has lost to two other Big East teams, Seton Hall (70-66) and Villanova (94-64). Unlike the Soviets, the Yugoslavs have proven weak in the rebounding department.
The Hoyas beat Cibona, 78-64, a year ago and the Yugoslavs' two leading scorers from that contest are not along this time. So far Cibona's best have been 6-8 forward Andro Knego, who has hit 11 of 16 from the field while scoring 17 in each game, and 6-10 center Rajko Gospodnetic, age 32, who has averaged 15.