History, most astute basketball observers agree, will accord the Georgetown University team a place among the greatest college units of all time. No less an expert than St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca made just that point after his Redmen had been pulverized here, 77-59, in the semifinals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
``We've played them four times and lost three, which makes me a pretty good judge,'' he said. ``I would have to compare them to the great teams of San Francisco with Bill Russell, the great Kentucky teams of the past, the UCLA clubs and, of course, the undefeated Indiana team.
``When a club executes as well as they do and plays at such a level of proficiency, there is really nothing you can do.''
John Thompson, the imposingly large Georgetown coach, doesn't really agree and has no intention of drinking in ``Louie's love song.''
``I don't expect to walk out on the floor and pick up the trophy,'' Thompson said in anticipation of tonight's final against surprising Villanova University at Rupp Arena (9:12 p.m. EST on CBS-TV). The Wildcats, an amazing group of giant killers all through the tournament, advanced to the season's grand finale via yet another upset -- a 52-45 victory over Memphis State's towering Tigers.
Villanova is a decided, yet dangerous underdog. Anyone who believes the Wildcats don't stand a chance has a short memory for tournament history. For it was only two years ago that a seemingly overmatched North Carolina State team won the title by beating powerful Houston with a last second basket.
``Absolutely anything can happen, anything,'' Carnesecca emphasizes.
This is Georgetown's third appearance in the championship game in the four years of the ``Patrick Ewing era.'' And now with the dominating 7-foot center leading the way in his collegiate swan song, the defending champion Hoyas are determined to become the first team since UCLA in 1972-73 to win back-to-back titles.