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Final Four Picks - WEST

Continuing our stroll through the brackets, here are my picks in the West region. If you missed the Midwest, click here.

1 Connecticut over 16 Chattanooga: If people still took the train, I'd make a joke about taking the Chattanooga Choo-Choo home by halftime.
8 BYU over 9 Texas A&M: The selection committee completely disrespected the Mountain West (shocker!), even though it's as good a conference as the SEC this season. BYU deserved a 7 seed or better, easily.
5 Purdue over 12 Northern Iowa: Missouri Valley boosters might spot an upset here, but Purdue's too good–5th-best defense in the country according to
4 Washington over 13 Mississippi St.: A second-round Washington-Purdue matchup could be Final Four-quality.

6 Marquette over 11 Utah St.: People have been fixating on Marquette's recent losing streak and the loss of Dominic James. But there's plenty left with McNeal, Matthews and Hayward, and Utah St.'s one of the worst defensive teams in the field.
3 Missouri over 14 Cornell: With their athleticism and 40 Minutes of Hell-level press, Missouri's a poor man's mid-90s Arkansas. Final Four potential here.
10 Maryland over 7 California: Cal's the best three-point shooting team in the field, but I'm going with the best player on the court theory and Maryland's Greivis Vasquez.
2 Memphis over 15 Cal St. Northridge: This Memphis team shoots free throws better than last year's squad did, and free throws were all that prevented the Tigers from winning it all in '08. Just sayin'.

1 Connecticut over 8 BYU: If Gus Johnson does this game, you're going to have a hard attack. BYU can play, and they're going to take UConn down to the wire.
4 Washington over 5 Purdue: Pondexter, Thomas and Dentmon have Raftery-approved blowbyability, and Brockman is the best offensive rebounder in the Dance not named DeJuan Blair.
3 Missouri over 6 Marquette: Here's where the loss of James and the corresponding lack of depth comes back to haunt Marquette – against a deep, pressure-defense team like Mizzou.
2 Memphis over 10 Maryland: Advanced stats systems pegged Memphis as top-seed-quality, with Ken Pomeroy rating the Tigers the nation's strongest team.

4 Washington over 1 Connecticut: If the Huskies were in the East, Connecticut might cruise to the Final Four (with Fields at less than full strength for Pitt). In the ridiculously stacked West, they don't make it out of the Sweet 16.
2 Memphis over 3 Missouri: The problem with pressing teams is that when they run out of gas, it isn't pretty.

2 Memphis over 4 Washington: Brockman's on his own down low for the Huskies, and Memphis will take advantage.