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FIBA World Cup Notes

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While college football and the impending NFL regular season are taking over, hoop heads will get their fix as the newly renamed FIBA World Cup gets underway in multiple venues in Spain over the next two weeks. Oddsmakers and international basketball observers expect to see the United States opposite the tournament host in Madrid come Sept. 14 with an Olympic berth and this championship on the line, but there are 22 other countries hoping to be a factor. Below is a preview of the festivities.

Who: The 24 teams from FIBA's five federations, including the Americas, where the U.S. plays against the likes of Canada, Mexico,  Central and South America. The United States qualified automatically due to their Olympic title in 2012. An NBA record 45 players are participating.

What: Teams are separated into four groups, with the top four advancing into a knockout round of 16 similar to the soccer version. A loss sends you home.

When: August 30-Sept. 14. Knockout round begins Sept. 6.

Where: Barakaldo, Barcelona, Granada, Las Palmas, Madrid, Sevilla

Why: Besides bragging rights, a trophy and medals,  there's the incentive of not having to qualify for the Brazil Olympics next year.

Outright winner odds: Spain 8/5, Argentina 33/1, Brazil 33/1, France 33/1, Greece 33/1, Lithuania 33/1, Serbia 40/1, Turkey 66/1, Croatia 80/1, Australia 150/1, Slovenia 150/1, Puerto Rico 300/1, Finland 500/1, Ukraine 500/1, Dominican Republic 1000/1, Iran 1000/1, Mexico 1000/1, New Zealand1000/1, Philippines 1000/1, Angola1500/1, Egypt 2000/1, Senegal 2000/1, South Korea 3000/1

Group A

Spain   
Group winner odds:1/3 
Coach: Juan Antonio Orenga
Players you should know: F/C Pau Gasol, C Marc Gasol, F Serge Ibaka, G Ricky Rubio, G Jose Calderon, F Victor Claver, G Rudy Fernandez

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Brazil  
                         
Group winner odds: 13/2 
Coach: Ruben Magnano
Players you should know: F Nene, F/C Anderson Varejao, C Tiago Splitter, G Leandro Barbosa, G Raul Neto, G Marcelinho Huertas 

France                         
Group winner odds: 11/2 
Coach: Vincent Collet
Players you should know: F Nicolas Batum, F/C Boris Diaw, C Rudy Gobert, G/F Evan Fournier, G Thomas Heurtel, F Mickael Gelabale

Serbia                          
Group winner odds: 8/1 
Coach: Aleksandar Dordevic
Players you should know: C Nenad Krstic, C Miroslav Raduljica, G/F Bogdan Bogdanovic, F Nemanja Bjelica

Iran                              
Group winner odds: 250/1 
Coach:  Memi Becirovic
Players you should know: C Hamed Haddadi,  F Arsalan Kazemi, G Mehdi Kamrani

Eqypt                          
Group winner odds: 1000/1
Coach: Amr Aboul Kheir
Players you should know: G Wael Badr

Group B

Greece                         
Group winner odds: 7/5 
Coach: Fotis Katsikaris
Players you should know: F Giannis Antentokuonmpo, G/F Nick Calathes, F Kostas Papanikolaou, C Ioannis Bourousis, G Nikos Zisis, F Georgios Printezis

Argentina                     
Group winner odds: 7/4 
Coach: Julio Lamas
Players you should know: F Luis Scola, G Pablo Prigioni, F Andres Nocioni, G Facundo Campazzo, F Walter Herrmann

Croatia                         
Group winner odds: 7/4 
Coach: Jasmin Repesa
Players you should know: F Dario Saric, G Bojan Bogdanovic, G Roko Ukic, C Ante Tomic, C Damir Markota, F Damjan Rudez,  G Oliver Lafayette

Puerto Rico                  
Group winner odds: 12/1 
Coach: Paco Olmos
Players you should know: G J.J. Barea, G Carlos Arroyo,  F Renaldo Balkman, F Ricky Sanchez, C Daniel Santiago,  G David Huertas

Philippines                   
Group winner odds: 250/1 
Coach: Chot Reyes
Players you should know: F/C Andray Blatche, F Gabe Norwood,  F, Japeth Aguilar, G Jimmy Alapag

Senegal                       
Group winner odds: 500/1
Coach: Cheik Sarr
Players you should know: C Gorgui Dieng, C Hamady N'Diaye,  F Maurice Ndour

Group C

USA                            
Group winner odds: 1/66 
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
Players: F/C Anthony Davis, G Derrick Rose, G Stephen Curry, G James Harden, G Kyrie Irving, F/C DeMarcus Cousins, F Rudy Gay, F Kenneth Faried, G/F DeMar DeRozan, G/F Klay Thompson, C Andre Drummond, C Mason Plumlee

Turkey                         
Group winner odds: 12/1 
Coach: Ergin Ataman
Players you should know: C Omer Asik, F/C Furkan Aldemir, G Cenk Akyol, G Cedi Osman

Finland                        
Group winner odds: 33/1 
Coach: Henrik Dettmann
Players you should know: F Erik Murphy, F Hanno Möttöla, G Petteri Koponen, G Mikko Koivisto

Dominican Republic     
Group winner odds: 33/1 
Coach: Orlando Antigua
Players you should know: F Francisco Garcia,  G Edgar Sosa, C Eloy Vargas, F Orlando Sanchez

Ukraine                        
Group winner odds: 40/1 
Coach: Mike Fratello
Players you should know: G Pooh Jeter, C Slava Kravtsov, G Sergiy Gladyr

New Zealand                
Group winner odds: 250/1
Coach: Nenad Vucinic
Players you should know: G Kirk Penney, F/C Rob Loe, G Corey Webster, G Tai Webster

Group D

Lithuania                      
Group winner odds: 2/3 
Coach: Jonas Kazlauskas
Players you should know: C Jonas Valanciunas, F Donatas Motiejunas, G Martynas Pocius, F Mindaugas Kuzminskas

Slovenia                      
Group winner odds: 9/4 
Coach: Jure Zdovc
Players you should know: G Goran Dragic, G Zoran Dragic, F Uros Slokar, G/F Domen Lorbek

Australia                      
Group winner odds: 3/1 
Coach: Andrej Lemanis
Players you should know: G Dante Exum, G Matthew Dellavedova, F/C Aron Baynes, F/C David Andersen,  G Joe Ingles,  F Brock Motum, F Cameron Bairstow

Angola                         
Group winner odds: 50/1 
Coach: Pablo Macedo
Players you should know: F Olimpio Cipriano, C Joaquim Gomes, C Yannick Moreira

Mexico                        
Group winner odds: 150/1 
Coach: Sergio Valdeolmillos
Players you should know: C Gustavo Ayon, G Jorge Gutierrez, F/C Lorenzo Mata, G Orlando Mendez-Valdez, G Paul Stoll

South Korea                 
Group winner odds: 300/1 
Coach: Yoo Jae-hak
Players you should know: F Moon Tae-jong
 
Antony Dinero's friendly advice: As tempting as it might be to try and fade Spain as group winner given the pressure they'll face and the strength of the group, they'll have raucous crowds everywhere they play and should pull off winning A... While Greece is favored in B, Croatia is a solid choice given how well it shoots the ball... As you can tell by those group odds, nobody is challenging the US in C, and there isn't likely to be anyone that comes within 20 of the Americans until the knockout stage... D is going to be tight at the top, but it's hard not to like Dragic's ability to take over late in games... if not the US or Spain, who? Lithuania, France or Brazil look worthy of third-best, but our South American friends are well-coached and would be able to play pressure-free since they already have an Olympic bid wrapped up as the host nation.

Projected championship: United States 107 Spain 98

  
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