Finally, Georgetown and Maryland will play conference opponents they are expected to beat today.
After splitting Big East road games with St. John's and Syracuse, both nationally ranked, Georgetown will play Connecticut at 1 in Capital Centre. Three of Connecticut's best four players are shorter than 6 feet and the fourth is academically ineligible.
After losing its first two Atlantic Coast Conference games to Virginia and North Carolina, both nationally ranked, Maryland will play Duke tonight at 8 in Cole Field House. The Blue Devils start four freshmen and don't have a real center.
Then, there is a game in Charlottesville which all of college basketball will be tuning in.
North Carolina, the defending NCAA national champion and 11th-ranked team in the nation, will visit No. 2-ranked Virginia at 1:30 in University Hall. Ralph Sampson versus Sam Perkins. Michael Jordan versus Othell Wilson. Dean Smith versus Terry Holland. And this time, there will be no stallball.
The ACC's new 30-second shot clock and three-point field goal from beyond 19 feet will force these two teams to play at least 36 minutes of real live basketball before the clock is turned off. The rules were adopted largely because the last time Carolina played Virginia, March 7 in the ACC tournament final, the Tar Heels won a 47-45 slowdown debacle that sparked outrage nationwide.
Both teams have several players who are capable of taking full advantage of the faster game, right down to the centers--7-foot-4 Sampson of Virginia and 6-9 Perkins of Carolina--who aren't afraid to put up a three-pointer now and then.