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EuroBasket 2017: Breaking down how basketball’s biggest continental tournament works

FIBA Olympic Basketball Qualifying Tournament Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

EuroBasket 2017 is happening from August 31 to September 17. Tomas Satoransky and the Czech Republic will play in Group C who starts play along with Group D on Friday, September 1.

Today, we’ll go through a quick overview on which teams are in Group A and Group B because they start play tomorrow morning. In this post specifically, we’ll talk about how EuroBasket 2017 will work and what it means for the FIBA World Cup in 2019.

What is EuroBasket?

EuroBasket is a continental tournament of men’s national teams throughout the FIBA Europe zone. FIBA Europe stretches as far west as Iceland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, and all of continental Europe. Two Middle Eastern countries: Israel and Turkey are also in FIBA Europe.

EuroBasket isn’t the only continental tournament. FIBA has three more:

  • In North and South America, teams play for the FIBA AmeriCup. The United States will participate in the 2017 tournament because the Olympic champion does not automatically qualify for the World Cup anymore. Also, AmeriCup just started this week, where the Americans are so far 2-0 in group play. Team USA consists of mostly G-League players.
  • In Asia (and Oceania), teams play in the FIBA Asia Cup.
  • In Africa, teams play in AfroBasket.

How can I watch it?

You can stream all games on LiveBasketball.TV.

What’s at stake?

24 teams are fighting for European continental supremacy, but there’s no automatic World Cup spots at stake. In previous EuroBaskets, the winner and other top ranked teams (like the runner up) would get spots in the World Cup or the Olympics. However, that process has changed.

Then how does the FIBA World Cup qualification work?

Like men’s soccer and the FIFA World Cup, there will be a series of qualifiers that determine who earns FIBA World Cup berths. Europe has 32 teams that will qualify for the qualifiers. All 24 teams in this year’s EuroBasket have already qualified for the first round of the World Cup qualifiers.

A group of 13 teams that didn’t make EuroBasket 2017 played for the eight remaining spots in the first round of the World Cup qualifiers. So the 32 European teams in the first round of qualifiers include the EuroBasket 2017 teams plus Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Austria, Estonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, and Belarus. The first round of qualifiers start in November and go through July 2018 where the 32 teams are broken up into eight four-team groups.

The top three teams in each of the eight groups (24 teams) in the first round then go to a second round of qualifiers that start in September 2018 through February 2019. The top three teams in each of the four groups (12 teams) in the second round earn World Cup berths.

How does this year’s EuroBasket tournament work?

Four groups of six teams play in a round robin format. The top four teams in each group then play each other in a single elimination knockout stage except the semifinals, where the losers in that round play in a third place game.