Bracket set as group play wraps up


VIDEO: John Schuhmann talks to GameTime about the World Cup

GRANADA, SPAIN – The final day of group play at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup not only determined who made it to the round of 16, but who they would play … and who they could play after that.

Let’s make it clear. There are two great teams in this tournament. They are Spain and the United States, and you will have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t think they will meet in the gold medal game in Madrid on Sept. 14.

After that, however, there are at least nine teams that could think they have a shot at a bronze medal. But you can only get to the bronze medal game if you first make the semifinals. And it will be extremely difficult to make the semis if you face Spain or the U.S. before then.

So, for those nine teams, with Spain clinching spot A1 (for finishing first in Group A) and the Americans clinching spot C1 (first in Group C) on Wednesday, there are two desired quarters of the bracket to be in. In Madrid, there’s the A4-B1-A2-B3 quarter, which avoids Spain until the semifinals. And in Barcelona, there’s the C4-D1-C2-D3, which avoids the U.S. until the semis.

Brazil clinched its spot as A2 with its win over Serbia on Wednesday. Everything else was up for grabs on Thursday.

Group A

Final placement:

  1. Spain (5-0)
  2. Brazil (4-1)
  3. France (3-2)
  4. Serbia (2-3)

Thursday notes:

  • In the first game that didn’t matter, Brazil hammered Egypt, 128-65. After its big breakout on Wednesday, the Brazil offense continued to roll, with Leandro Barbosa scoring 22 points (on 8-for-9 shooting) and dishing out five assists in just 23 minutes.
  • Ultimately, the second game was the only game that counted for anything. After Wednesday’s win over Egypt, Iran had a shot at fourth place if it could pull off an upset. And it showed a lot of heart, cutting a 17-point deficit down to five with a late rally. But it fell short, and France prevailed 81-76.
  • France could have put itself in the more favorable A4 spot with a strategic loss. And it did try to get its best players some rest; Nicolas Batum sat for most of the second half. But when Iran made it close at the end, Batum and Boris Diaw were back on the floor and France played to win.
  • France coach Vincent Collet: “You can see we wanted to win this game, no question. We know, being third, we could cross with Spain in the quarterfinals. That’s basketball.”
  • The third game could have meant something, but was rendered meaningless by the Iran-France result, because even if Serbia tied France with a 3-2 record, the head-to-head tiebreaker went to France. Still, Serbia coach Sasha Djordjevic get tossed and Marc and Pau Gasol each played 28 minutes in Spain’s 89-73 win.

Group B

Final placement:

  1. Greece (5-0)
  2. Croatia (3-2)
  3. Argentina (3-2)
  4. Senegal (2-3)

Thursday notes:

    • We got another thriller from the Philippines, and this time, they won! The overtime result locked Senegal into the fourth spot in the group and a matchup with Spain on Saturday.
    • Croatia clinched its spot in the round of 16 with a 103-82 win over Puerto Rico. Nets incoming rookie Bojan Bogdanovic had another big game with 23 points on just eight shots, getting to the line 17 times.
    • Sixers youngsters Michael Carter-Williams, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel, along with GM Sam Hinkie and coach Brett Brown, were in Sevilla to support future Sixer Dario Saric, who shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and showed off his open-court skills one more time.
    • The final game was for first place in the group and avoiding Spain until the semis. Greece built an early lead and held off Argentina for a 79-71 victory, which left them as one of just three undefeated teams in group play.

    Group C

    Final placement:

    1. USA (5-0)
    2. Turkey (3-2)
    3. Dominican Republic (2-3)
    4. New Zealand (2-3)

    Thursday notes:

    • At the start of the day, all six teams were still alive.
    • New Zealand’s 67-65 victory over Finland sent the Haka to Barcelona and sent Finland and meant that Ukraine would have had to beat the U.S. to advance.
    • That didn’t happen.
    • So, after USA’s win over Mike Fratello‘s crew, we knew what Group C teams were in. And Turkey’s win over the Dominican Republic in the nightcap put them opposite the U.S. in the Barcelona side of the bracket.
    • Ultimately, what knocked out Ukraine was one point. Dominican Republic, New Zealand and Ukraine all went 2-3 and all went 1-1 against each other. In those three games, Dominican Republic had a point differential of plus-3, New Zealand had a point differential of minus-1, and Ukraine had a point differential of minus-2.

    Group D

    Final placement:

    1. Lithuania (4-1)
    2. Slovenia (4-1)
    3. Australia (3-2)
    4. Mexico (2-3)

    Thursday notes:

    • Here’s where we saw some shadiness. Australia appeared to tank itself into the D3 spot by losing to Angola in the first game of the day.
    • Neither Aron Baynes nor Joe Ingles played. Matthew Dellavedova and David Andersen each played just four minutes. And with a 13-point halftime lead, Australia seemingly escorted Angola to the rim in the second half, allowing what was a below-average offense through four games to score 62 points in 20 minutes.
    • Slovenia’s Goran Dragic didn’t like what he saw…
    • Mexico booked its ticket to Barcelona for a Sunday matchup with the U.S. by knocking off Korea. That result also eliminated Angola.
    • The final game in Gran Canaria was for first place in the group and placement on the non-USA quarter in Barcelona. Lithuania came back from 12 down and held the tournament’s No. 1 offense (through Wednesday) to just two points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 67-64 win over Slovenia.

14 Comments

  1. m says:

    I’m not sure exactly why but this site is loading
    very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  2. John says:

    Greece forever!

  3. Dennis says:

    I see a complete lack of mention on the hang-time blogs for the Greek NT. Except for USA and Spain, we have played the best and most convincing basketball. We’re one of the premier favorites for the bronze medal, we have a team full of prospect (Adetokunbo, Papanikolaou p.e.), we have one of the best coaches of the tournament, and still, no mention for Greece’s performances. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we can beat USA or even Spain, or that the r-16 match against Serbia will be easy, but as I noted before, I can’t understand the complete ignorance on one of the top 10 traditional powers of the game. And don’t forget, Greece was the last team to win USA, 8 years ago in Japan! And who knows who or when is gonna win a USA team!

    P.S. I give more chance to Mexico beating USA than Spain in the final doing that.

  4. TTKIN says:

    Embiid looks just as pissed now as he was on draft day, that he is a Sixer haha.

  5. akosivinot says:

    If only Philippines had advanced to the next stage..It would have been more exciting and thrilling!!!Gilas Pilipinas!!

  6. The Truth says:

    No!

  7. OLDSKOOL says:

    Australia clearly tanked despite what the coaches and players claim. I actually don’t blame them though, if your goal is to win some type of medal then, the best way to accomplish this is to place yourself in a situation where you avoid, the tougher teams until, you have to play them. Slovenia shouln’t be complaining, they should have won their game, and all of this would have been academic. Thanks, for explaining the Pool C tiebreaker because, I didn’t understand why Ukraine was left out, as they had a smaller point differential than DR, or New Zealand, but the common game differential is the one I missed. People aren’t noticing the fact that the Gasols are averaging over 26 minutes per game, plus they have a tougheer road to the Gold Medal game, plus the US has a much younger, and fresher team, so if and when they meet. Despite, their expereince, who do you think will be prepared to go a full 40 minutes if necessary? Pau’s got alot of miles on those 34 y/o legs, and Anthony Davis can run like a guard!

  8. Manuel Pineda says:

    Well, basically Greece,Argentina,Lithuania and Slovenia started the elimination rounds yesterday. And you could see it in the intensity of those games. So from now on it seems there’re gonna be a bunch of good games on Madrid until the end. And I don’t see who can be the ninth team opting to the medal: Greece, Brazil, Argentina, France, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania. And Croatia is playing inconsistently, so maybe it’s not even there.

  9. Drew says:

    With the crossover stage seemingly fixed from the start to ensure that Spain and the US wouldn’t meet until the final, and 4 out of 6 teams getting through fro each group, there was always going to be at least one team that would abuse the flawed system to try and ‘choose’ their playoff opponents. As an Australian, I’m extremely disappointed that it was us.
    Also, that’s a bad gif to use as an example that we were tanking. I’ve watched Bubbles (#4) play since he was a junior at Brisbane and whilst he’s a scoring machine, he’s always been quite a poor defender. He probably would have done that in any game against any team.

    • alleighoops says:

      Dude, when you have a number 1 ranked team and a number 2 ranked team, they will ALWAYS be on the otherside of the draw and slated to meet in the final and only in the final. Please give me an example, in any sport around the world, when this is not the case.

  10. harriethehawk says:

    Okay, is this the point where it gets more competitive? zzzzzzzzz….

    • asda says:

      Well for US it doesnt get competetive until the final,

      My guess is that they will meet up with lithuania in the semis, and that shouldnt be to big of a problem for usa to beat.