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

AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana
Spain forward Juancho Hernangomez battles for a loose ball against Brazil forward Leonardo Meindl during the Basketball World Cup group G match between Spain and Brazil at the Indonesia Arena stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Aug. 28, 2023.

The final six slots in the second round will be awarded Wednesday in the Basketball World Cup, with those teams set to join 10 others still in contention for the Naismith Trophy.

In Group B, where two slots remain unfilled, Serbia is in control, with Puerto Rico and South Sudan tied for second and China needing a miracle.

Group C has one slot left and it’ll go to the winner of the Greece-New Zealand game.

Group F has two slots left; Slovenia needs to avoid a loss by 24 or more points to Cape Verde to get one. Cape Verde needs a giant upset to advance; Georgia and Venezuela also are alive.

And in Group G, one spot remains and it’ll be claimed by the Brazil-Ivory Coast winner.


Opening group-stage play ends Wednesday with eight more games. Among them: The U.S. Round 1 finale against Jordan. Game schedules for Thursday through Sunday won’t be completed until Wednesday.

The Wednesday slate:

Group B (at Manila): South Sudan (1-1) vs. Serbia (2-0), China (0-2) vs. Puerto Rico (1-1)

Group C (at Manila): U.S. (2-0) vs. Jordan (0-2), Greece (1-1) vs. New Zealand (1-1)

Group F (at Okinawa): Georgia (1-1) vs. Venezuela (0-2), Slovenia (2-0) vs. Cape Verde (1-1)

Group G (at Jakarta): Ivory Coast (1-1) vs. Brazil (1-1), Iran (0-2) vs. Spain (2-0)


— In the U.S.: The next U.S. game (Wednesday) will be on ESPN2. It begins at 4:40 a.m. Eastern. No television plan for U.S. games after Wednesday has been announced; the Americans will play Montenegro on Friday and Lithuania on Sunday in Round 2.

— There are streaming options for other games.


The U.S. is the overwhelming favorite to win the World Cup, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, with the Americans’ odds listed at minus-110 (meaning a $110 wager on the Americans would return $210, if they won). Canada remains a very strong second choice in the betting at plus-310, followed by Spain (plus-1,000), Slovenia (plus-1,400), Australia and Serbia (both plus-1,500), and Germany (plus-1,700).

Every other team still in the running for medals entered Tuesday with odds of 65-1 or greater.


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

— The Americans are using lots of depth to their advantage

— U.S. beats Greece in Game 2, 109-81

— Monday was a historic day for African basketball

— U.S. tops New Zealand in opening game, 99-72

— The World Cup attendance record fell on Day 1 in Manila

— For Erik Spoelstra, this trip to Manila is very much like a homecoming

— The basketball-crazed Philippines is about to have a shining moment

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

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


Mark it down: To help commemorate the World Cup, the United Nations has decided to celebrate World Basketball Day on Dec. 21. Among the goals of the day: to encourage “everyone everywhere to play, watch, read, discuss or otherwise connect to the game, which will be a connection to each other.”


On Thursday and Saturday, the 16 teams that didn’t qualify for the second round will play “classification” games to determine 17th through 32nd place in the tournament.

Second round play starts Friday.


There already have been 21 games decided by at least 20 points in this World Cup, with one day of group-stage games left. That matches the number of 20-point games there were in the group stage, second round, quarterfinals and medal round of the World Cup at China in 2019 combined.


“We have a special team. … I think the world is going to notice now.” — Karl-Anthony Towns, after the Dominican Republic beat Angola to win Group A with a 3-0 record and move into the second round.