It will be San Francisco's height against UCLA's quickness and Marquette's depth against DePaul's endurance Thursday night in the West Regional of the NCAA basketball championhip tournament.

The Pac-10 champion Bruins are the favorites to make it to the final four, but San Francisco center Bill Cartwright is standing in the way.

The 7-foot Cartwright is considered by many to be the best college big man in the country this season and he has some impressive statistics. He leads the nation in rebounding with a 16.2 average and he is scoring 24 points a game.

The Dons are not a one-man team, however. Another 7-footer, Wallace Bryant, is Cartwright's backup. They both started earlier in the season, but once Bryant was made a reserve and 6-8 Bart Bowers became a starter at forward, the Dons started rolling. The other forward, Doug Jemison, is averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds a game.

"Cartwright is going to get his points, no matter what we do," said UCLA Coach Gary Cunningham. "Gig Sims will probably start on him and we'll see what happens."

To compensate for San Francisco's height, the Bruins will use their fullcourt zone press more than usual.

"We would like to press them and how much depends on how well they handle it," Cunningham said. "We'll test them, though."

The Bruins do not have a dominating player this season and rely on balance and outstanding shooting.

All-America David Greenwood is the leading scorer and rebounder with 19.3 points and 10.7 rebounds a game.

Guards Roy Hamilton and Brad Holland also are effective scorers: Hamilton is averaging 16.2 points a game and the long shooting Holland, 17.3.

The other forward, Kiki Vandeweghe, is averaging 14.3 points and is shooting 65 percent from the field. He is not the only hot-shooting Bruin. Holland is shooting 61 percent, Greenwood 58 and Hamilton 53.

As a team, the Bruins are shooting 55.4 percent, an NCAA record.

The Marquette-DePaul game is a rematch, DePaul beating Marquette, 6160, several weeks ago.

DePaul is unique in that Coach Ray Meyer seldom substitutes. He used only five men the last time against Marquette and he used only five when he beat Southern Cal in the second round of the tournament.

DePaul is not very big, either. The tallest starter is 6-8 Jim Mitchem. The star is freshman Mark Aguirre, the leading first-year man in the nation with his 24.1 average.

The other DePaul iron men are Gary Garland. Curtis Watkins and Clyde Bradshaw.

Despite having no bench, DePaul presses full court and runs on offense when it can. The high altitude here at Brigham Young could force DePaul to call on its reserves.

"We've got to get ahead and control the tempo," said Marquette Coach Hank Raymonds.

Raymonds has the right man to control things in slick-headed Sam Worthen. Worthen, a 6-5 ball-handling whiz, is the reason the Warriors have gone as far as they have this season.

They lost their top three guards from last season, but Worthen, a junior-college transfer from McLennan (Tex.) Community College stepped in and has done wonders.

"He really took over," said Raymonds. "It amazes me the way he has picked up our system and controlled the team."

Worthen, whose style and appearance resemble Curly Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters, is averaging 12.2 points a game and shooting 51 percent. Raymonds has had to beg him to shoot more.

"He is so good offensively that he has more shots that he could take accidentally than most players do on purpose," Raymonds said. "He is the only player we've had here other than Butch Lee who we let go one on one."

Worthen's forte, however, is passing the basketball. He set a single-game Marquette record with 14 assists in a game against Oral Roberts and has a school record of 204 for the season.

The Warriors' top scorer is forward Bernard Toone. Raymonds calls him the best-shooting big man in the country.

The 6-9 Toone is averaging 18.4 points a game, with most of them coming from long range.