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

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Greece forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo (43) celebrates during the second half of a Basketball World Cup group C match against New Zealand in Manila, Philippines Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. Greece defeated New Zealand 83-74.

The Basketball World Cup is down to its Sweet 16.

The last six spots in the second round were secured on Wednesday, going to Serbia, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Georgia, Brazil and Greece — which held off New Zealand in a game where the winner was moving on and the loser was headed to the consolation playoffs.

Another winner on Wednesday, without even playing: Australia. The Boomers are headed to the Paris Olympics next summer, clinching Oceania’s automatic berth for those games when New Zealand failed to advance to Round 2.


The second round starts Friday. The 16 advancing teams will be placed into four groups of four, and their group-stage records will carry over into Round 2. The top two teams in each of the new groups move into the quarterfinals that start Sept. 5.

The Friday slate:

Group I (at Manila): Dominican Republic (3-0) vs. Puerto Rico (2-1), Serbia (3-0) vs. Italy (2-1)

Group J (at Manila): U.S. (3-0) vs. Montenegro (2-1), Lithuania (3-0) vs. Greece (2-1)

Group K (at Okinawa): Slovenia (3-0) vs. Australia (2-1), Germany (3-0) vs. Georgia (2-1)

Group L (at Jakarta): Canada (3-0) vs. Brazil (2-1), Spain (3-0) vs. Latvia (2-1)

Teams will play two games in Round 2, with the final matchups of that round happening on Sunday — when the field is pared down to eight quarterfinalists.


— In the U.S.: The next two U.S. games (Friday and Saturday) are expected to be on ESPN2. Friday’s game time is 4:40 a.m. Eastern. The Americans will play Montenegro on Friday and Lithuania on Sunday at 8:40 a.m. 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-145 (meaning a $145 wager on the Americans would return $245 total, if they won). Canada remains a very strong second choice in the betting at plus-370, followed by Spain (plus-1,300), Serbia (plus-1,400), Australia (plus-1,500), Germany (plus-1,600) and Slovenia (plus-2,200).

Every other team still in the running for medals entered Wednesday with odds of 49-1 or greater.


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

— U.S. runs past Jordan to finish perfect in opening group play

— 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


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.

Thursday’s schedule: Angola vs. China, Cape Verde vs. Finland, New Zealand vs. Mexico, Ivory Coast vs. Lebanon, South Sudan vs. Philippines, Japan vs. Venezuela, Egypt vs. Jordan and France vs. Iran.


Of the 16 second-round qualifiers, 10 also made it this far in the 2019 World Cup. They were Australia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Spain and the U.S.

The six second-rounders from 2019 who did not get that far in 2023: Argentina, the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia (all not qualified for this tournament), along with France and Venezuela (eliminated in Round 1).


“We tried to slow them down as much as possible. We failed.” — Jordan coach Wesam Al-Sous, after his team lost 110-62 in a group-play finale to the U.S.