If the FIBA World Cup doesn’t sound familiar that’s because it was called the FIBA World Championships of Basketball for nearly 60 years before taking on the World Cup moniker. Only since 2010 has it been referred to as the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
However you refer to the basketball tournament, it’s always been an international basketball competition played by the Senior National Teams of the member countries that have qualified to participate through their regional tournaments.
Similar to that of the more-popular FIFA World Cup, the competition’s format has featured a number of teams that has varied over the years. The 2019 FIBA World Cup tournament involves 32 teams competing for the championship in several venues and cities at the host country of China.
The Path to FIBA World Cup Bracket
Like other World Cup competitions, the tournament teams are placed into groups at the initial outset of the tournament beginning on August 31, 2019. Those groups of four teams are across two rounds to determine the what they call the Final Phase which is a tournament bracket featuring the top eight National Teams. You can see the FIBA World Cup bracket below:
How the two Group Stages work is that the 32 participating teams will be placed into eight groups of four where they’ll play one another in round robin play. The top two teams from each of these eight groups will move onto the next stage totaling 16 teams divided into four equal groups in the second round of the tournament.
Again, those teams will compete with the other teams in their group until the top two have played themselves to the top. Those eight teams then make up the FIBA World Cup bracket which is essentially an eight team single-elimination bracket.
Those teams that lose in the primary bracket aren’t finished. They’ll play at least another game so that all eight teams are classified from #1-#8 for FIBA rankings.
Basketball World Champions
It used to be that if a team won the NBA Title, they would be considered the World Champions of Basketball because the league no doubt contained the most talented teams in the world. No longer is that the complete truth. The NBA is still very much the league’s best basketball league but the world has been catching up. Especially considering the watered down roster Team USA is bringing to the 2019 tournament. With strong teams like Serbia, Spain and Canada, the United States are still favorites, just not nearly as strong as they’ve been in the past.
Here’s the 32 teams that qualified for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Team USA still projects to be the #1 team, but online NBA betting houses are much less bullish for the team headlined by second and third-tier NBA players like Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum. The predictions of who will win the FIBA World Cup hasn’t changed, it’s probably just the odds have shifted. Whomever comes out on top, the winning National Team will have the honor of bringing home the Naismith Trophy, which was first given out in 1967.
The current FIBA World Cup champions are the United States, who outplayed Serbia in the tournament’s championship game of the 2014 FIBA World Cup finale. Knowing that the USA isn’t at full-strength, Serbia’s Head Coach Aleksandar “Sasha” Djordjevic has already been talking trash saying: “If we meet, may God help them.”
Let’s hope they meet.