Saturday, September 14, 2013


Every two years, the national teams of Europe play for the basketball championship of the continent.  This tournament is known as EuroBasket.  Here are the last five championship games:

2011 (in Lithuania):  Spain 98, France 85
2009 (in Poland):  Spain 85, Serbia 63
2007 (in Spain):  Russia 60, Spain 59
2005 (in Serbia and Montenegro):  Greece 78, Germany 62
2003 (in Sweden):  Lithuania 93, Spain 84

So as you can see, this tournament is usually played in Eastern Europe, and Spain usually plays a prominent role.  This year's tournament is in Slovenia.

EuroBasket follows the typical European pattern, with lots of Group Stage games -- most of which are meaningless -- before quickly resolving the tournament in a few knockout games.  We started with four groups of six teams.  These teams played round-robin against each other, with the top 3 teams advancing to the next round:

France:  4-1
Ukraine:  4-1 
Belgium:  2-3 (Belgium went 2-0 against Great Britain and Germany)
Great Britain:  2-3
Germany:  2-3
Israel:  1-4

Serbia:  3-2
Latvia:  3-2
Lithuania:  3-2
Bosnia and Herzegovina:  3-2 (They lost a very complicated tie-breaker)
Montenegro:  2-3
Macedonia:  1-4

Spain:  4-1
Croatia:  4-1
Slovenia:  3-2
Czech Republic:  2-3
Georgia:  1-4
Poland:  1-4

Italy:  5-0
Finland:  4-1
Greece:  3-2
Sweden:  1-4
Turkey:  1-4
Russia:  1-4 

The remaining 12 teams were then put into two groups of six.  If you had already played one of the teams in your group, that game counted in this group as well.  You then play the other teams in your group until you've played all five of your fellow group members.  Then the top four teams from each group advance to the knockout round.  (This seems like a blatant effort to generate extra games, as it would make more sense to use the top two teams from each of the original groups to make up the Elite Eight).  Each of the new groups has one round of games left to play (teams that have clinched a spot in the knockout round are in bold, teams that are eliminated are in italics):

Lithuania:  3-1
France:  3-1
Serbia:  3-1
Ukraine:  2-2
Latvia:  1-3
Belgium:  0-4

Slovenia:  3-1
Croatia:  3-1
Spain:  2-2
Italy:  2-2
Finland:  1-3
Greece:  1-3 

All the remaining games are being played at the Arena Stozice in Llubljana, Slovenia, a brand-new arena (built 2010) that seats 12,500.

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