George Washington University basketball coach Mike Jarvis said tonight's game at Boston University will mark a first for him, and not one that he relishes.

Jarvis, who left Boston University after five seasons to take over the position with the Colonials this season, will not only be facing several former players tonight, he will be coaching against his son, Mike Jr., a junior reserve point guard for the Terriers.

"I have never gone to a game involving my son where I did not want him to win," said Jarvis. "This will be the first time. He and my wife are my best friends, but when he walks onto that court, he will not be my son. When the game is over, he will be my son again."

Tonight's 7:30 p.m. meeting at Walter Brown Arena between the Colonials (6-4) and Terriers (4-7) is expected to draw about 2,000 fans, more than double what Boston University averaged in its first two home games.

"It is obviously very special," Jarvis said. "I don't know how many people go home or go play against their old teams so soon."

The Jarvis-Jarvis matchup is likely to present only a few tense moments since Mike Jr. is averaging only about eight minutes of playing time, and 0.4 points, per game. Many fans, however, will be anxious to see the former Boston University coach, and will be just as torn in loyalty as the Jarvis family.

"If they are my friends, they will be rooting for me. But after this game, I will determine whether I will do anything like this again," Jarvis said.

Also in a difficult circumstance is Terriers Coach Bob Browne, who took over a team that lost four of its starters (three graduated and 6-foot-7 Bill Brigham followed Jarvis to George Washington). The Terriers, who never had a losing season under Jarvis, have lost five of their last six games.

Browne knows his players have been looking forward to this game. He also expects a majority of the fans to be supporting the visiting team.

"To me, it is another game," he said. "It is more for my kids, and especially his son, that it will be a game with the old coach back in town. . . . Mike was a very popular coach here and a lot of people will be rooting for him. But I think people who are BU fans will say, 'Hello Mike,' shake his hand and root for BU."

Jarvis is taking a competitive team to Boston. Hired late in the recruiting season, his only freshman is point guard Alvin Pearsall, an impressive starter averaging 7.5 points and 5.8 assists per game.

The team Jarvis inherited went 1-27 and 14-17 in John Kuester's final two seasons as coach, but the Colonials have played well since an 87-78 loss to Loyola-Baltimore in the season opener.

Jarvis has successfully found new roles for some of the holdovers, with a significant discovery being Peter Young, a 6-6 forward who graduated last year but is working on a second degree and using his last year of eligibility.

Young played a total of 27 minutes last season. Under Jarvis, he is one of 10 players averaging 14 minutes or more and has responded with an average of 6.2 points.

Young said the Colonials are trying not to get involved in the emotion of tonight's game, but admits it is inescapable.

"We want it to be just another game for the players, but for {Jarvis}, we know it is something special."