The 2010 FIBA World Championships group play has ended. As such, the 2010 FIBA World Championship brackets for the knockout rounds have been created, and the single-elimination games begin on Saturday. With the United States winning Group B, they will play the fourth place team from Group A on Monday, September 6. If they win that game, they will play in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, September 8. The semifinals take place on Saturday, September 11, and then the 2010 FIBA World Championships Gold Medal Game is on Sunday, September 12.
The United States went 5-0 in group play, beating Slovenia, Brazil, Croatia, Iran, and Tunisia. It wasn’t exactly a really competitive group that Team USA had to advance from, but they also didn’t play as well as was expected when the FIBA World Championships got started. Out of the 24 teams in the 2010 FIBA World Championships, only the United States, Turkey, and Lithuania went through their groups with undefeated records. With the way that the brackets are set up, Lithuania will be placed on the same side as the United States, creating a possibly very competitive semifinal match-up.
Defending World Champion Spain finished group play with a 3-2 record, having lost to both Lithuania and France in Group D. They don’t appear to be quite as good without Pau Gasol, but brother Marc will try to lead the team back into the Gold Medal game. Spain has to play Greece in the first single elimination game though, meaning that one of the favorites to possibly win the 2010 FIBA World Championships won’t even make it into the quarterfinals of the event. The winner between those two will then play the winner of Serbia vs. Croatia in the quarterfinals. That bracket won’t have to worry about the United States until the Gold Medal game, should Team USA make it that far.
The United States gets to play Angola in the first round, and will then play the winner of the Russia vs. New Zealand match in the semifinals. The toughest teams on this side of the bracket includes the United States, Lithuania, and Brazil, with the Chinese team hoping to regain some of its former glory on the court. The match that will be the most interesting this weekend will of course be Spain vs. Greece, with both teams knowing that they could make it all the way to the Gold Medal Game with a few good bounces of the basketball. Games start on the night of Saturday, September 4, and things are about to get very interesting at the 2010 FIBA World Championships.