The 18th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup will be the biggest yet.
In just a few weeks, the tournament will kick off in China (a first-time host) with a record 32 teams. Seven are from the Americas, eight from Asia and Oceania, five from Africa and 12 from Europe. Over 16 days (Aug. 31-Sep. 15), 92 games will be played in eight different cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Dongguan, Foshan, Nanjing and Guangzhou.
The participating countries were divided into eight groups during a live draw back in March:
GROUP A: Cote d’Ivoire, Poland, Venezuela, China
GROUP B: Russia, Argentina, Korea, Nigeria
GROUP C: Spain, Iran, Puerto Rico, Tunisia
GROUP D: Angola, Philippines, Italy, Serbia
GROUP E: Turkey, Czech Republic, USA, Japan
GROUP F: Greece, New Zealand, Brazil, Montenegro
GROUP G: Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Jordan
GROUP H: Canada, Senegal, Lithuania, Australia
These teams will matchup in the first round of the tournament, spanning from Aug. 31-Sept. 5. The top two from each group will then advance to the second round, where they will be coupled with two other teams from a separate group. Once again, the pool will be cut in half before the quarterfinals, which begin September 10. The bracket then becomes single elimination up until the championship (September 15) in Beijing.
Seven countries (two from the Americas, two from Europe and one each from the Africa, Asia and Oceania regions) will qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo based on the results of the World Cup.
USA took home the gold medal in the previous World Cup (2014), with Serbia claiming silver and France winning bronze.
Here are seven storylines to keep an eye on this year:
1. Who Will Lead Team USA?
With big names like Anthony Davis, James Harden and Damian Lillard dropping …read more