The FIBA Basketball World Cup is set to kick off in Spain from 30 August to 14 September 2014 and will feature 24 teams from across the globe battling it out to win the FIBA World Cup gold medal and Naismith Trophy.
The U.S. Team will look to defend its 2010 title against several formidable teams such as Spain, Argentina, France, and Brazil; but before the tournament begins, each team will be fighting for a top seed within group play which is scheduled to run six days. After the commencement of group play, the Round of 16 will kick off on 7 September and will feature 16 teams fighting in a single-game elimination round to reach the Quarter Finals.
The Quarter Finals will run the span of two days, followed by the Semi Finals, Third Place Game, and the FIBA World Cup Finals. Check out the full schedule below.
2014 FIBA World Cup Predictions
(Groups A, B, C, D)
Group A Prediction: Spain
Spain has a dangerous roster and the talent to beat any team in FIBA, that’s right – even the U.S. team. They have three of the best “bigs” in the contest featuring brothers Pau and Marc Gasol not to mention NBA Defensive Player of the Year nominee Serge Ibaka. They also have a very formidable front-court in Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon, not to mention former NBA player Rudy Fernandez adding even more depth to the list of shooters for team Spain. This team is packed with shooters and physical big men who will definitely make rebounding, interior defending, and scoring down-low very difficult for the opposing team. Serge Ibaka and Jose Calderon will be the players to watch for team Spain. I expect Ibaka to dominate defensively and Jose Calderon to put on an offensive show. I really like the chances of Spain advancing to the finals, they’re going to be one of the highest scoring teams in FIBA.
Group B Prediction: Argentina
Argentina is ranked one of the top-3 teams in FIBA, as well they should. This team has both age and experience on their side featuring a physical Lois Scola who can score inside and outside, a savvy point guard in Pablo Prigioni, and former NBA power forward Andrés Nocioni who will offer significant contributions in the scoring and rebounding areas. Scola will be the player to watch on this team as he is the best all around player for Argentina. Overall, Argentina is by far one of the best, if not best team in Group B and I expect them to finish in a close race above Greece.