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Basketball World Cup 2023: How to Watch, Who’s Playing, Who’s Favored and More

REUTERS/Lisa Marie David
A general view of the draw ceremony of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, April 29, 2023.

The Basketball World Cup — FIBA’s biggest tournament — starts Friday, spread out across three countries for the first two rounds before all the biggest games get played in Manila to decide which nation will go home with gold medals and the Naismith Trophy on Sept. 10.

Spain is the defending champion, having won in China four years ago. The U.S. was only seventh in that tournament, its worst finish ever in a major international event. But the Americans have high hopes, and enter as the tournament favorites.

The 32 teams were split into eight different groups of four. The top two teams from each group will make the second round. The top eight teams after the second round advance to the quarterfinals.

Here’s a list of all the opening games for all 32 teams:

FRIDAY, AUG. 25

Group A (at Manila): Angola vs. Italy, Dominican Republic vs. Philippines

Group D (at Manila): Mexico vs. Montenegro, Egypt vs. Lithuania

Group E (at Okinawa): Finland vs. Australia, Germany vs. Japan

Group H (at Jakarta): Latvia vs. Lebanon, Canada vs. France

SATURDAY, AUG. 26

Group B (at Manila): South Sudan vs. Puerto Rico, Serbia vs. China

Group C (at Manila): Jordan vs. Greece, U.S. vs. New Zealand

Group F (at Okinawa): Cape Verde vs. Georgia, Slovenia vs. Venezuela

Group G (at Jakarta): Iran vs. Brazil, Spain vs. Ivory Coast

HOW TO WATCH THE BASKETBALL WORLD CUP

— In the U.S.: The first three U.S. games (Aug. 26, Aug. 28, Aug. 30) will be on ESPN2. Aug. 26 and Aug. 28 games will begin at 8:40 a.m. EDT; the Aug. 30 game begins at 4:40 a.m. EDT.

— There are streaming options for other games.

WHO IS PLAYING

There are two All-NBA players in the field: Slovenia’s Luka Doncic (Dallas) and Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City). They’re among six All-Stars from last season in the World Cup field, the others being Finland’s Lauri Markkanen (Utah) and U.S. players Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis) and Anthony Edwards (Minnesota).

BETTING GUIDE

The U.S. is the overwhelming favorite to win the World Cup, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, with the Americans’ odds listed at minus-130 (meaning a $130 wager on the Americans would return $230, if they won). France and Canada are tied as the second choice, both at plus-950 (a $100 wager would return $950). Want some value? Try Slovenia; Luka Doncic’s team is starting out at plus-2,100.

WHAT TO KNOW

What you need to know about the Basketball World Cup, and the U.S. road to getting here:

— USA Basketball’s coaching staff for the World Cup is an All-Star team

— Getting used to FIBA rule differences is part of the challenge for NBA players

— As World Cup nears, U.S. team says it’ll embrace any doubters

— U.S. finishes exhibition season with perfect 5-0 record after rallying to beat Germany

— The U.S. brought some help to finish World Cup preparations

QUOTABLE

“Everybody here has a little bit of a chip on their shoulder, because I think we all know that the world is looking at us like ‘This is the time that we’re going to beat the United States.’ And that bothers the (heck) out of everybody.” — U.S. guard Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers.

THE SCHEDULE

— Aug. 25-30: First Round

— Aug. 31-Sept. 3: Second Round, and classification for 17th through 32nd place

— Sept. 4: No games

— Sept. 5-6: Quarterfinals

— Sept. 7: Playoffs for 5th through 8th place

— Sept. 8: Semifinals

— Sept. 9: Playoffs for 5th through 8th place

— Sept. 10: Gold medal game, bronze medal game