FIBA World Cup kicks off this weekend

While the headlines in the sports world mostly revolve around college football’s kickoff this weekend, the basketball fans will have their own way to celebrate. Many NBA players will be representing their international sides in the FIBA World Cup, the most significant international basketball event outside of the Olympics every four years.

The tournament, formerly known as the FIBA World Championship, was won by the United States in 2010. The USA is on a 53-game winning streak in international play, last losing in this event to Greece in 2006.

Spain is the host country for the event, which will run from Aug. 30 through Sept. 14. The hosts are clearly the second-best team on paper, but must navigate through a difficult Group A, which boasts four of the top 11 teams in the world, according to the current FIBA rankings. There are 24 teams competing in the event, broken into four groups of six countries each. The group stage consists of round robin play, meaning five games in six days for each participant. Four of the top six teams in each group will advance to the knockout stage, which starts on Sept. 6 with games in Madrid and Barcelona.

Other countries who could make noise and are a virtual cinch to advance out of the group stage at the World Cup include France, Brazil, Argentina, Greece and Lithuania. Each country is a cut or two below Spain and the USA, but can threaten those with a top-notch performance on a given night in the knockout stage.

For more information on this event, check here.

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