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Knockout Stages
Call it what you want. Knockout stahes, play offs, all or nothing, death or life, the real start opf the tournament.

The draw looks like this

26th August - From these 8 sides, one will reach the final

Argentina v New Zealand

Turkey v Slovenia

Spain v Serbia

Italy v Lithuania

27th August - Again, one of these 8 to the final

Greece v China

France v Angola

USA v Australia

Germany v Nigeria

well, discuss...
I think Argentina and USA are the biggest favourites of their ties while in other games you can expect for a close game or a surprise. But if I had to make predictions then the teams that will go through will be: Argentina, Turkey, Spain, Lithuania, Greece, France, Germany and USA.
I agree some of those games are a banana skin, an accident waiting to happen

Argentina should easily beat New Zealand, but these guys went 4th last world championship doing exactly this. Sneak through the first round and cause a couple of upsets to get into the semifinals. I'd realistically give them a 20% chance if so. So Argentina to go through

Turkey v Slovenia. Hard call. Slovenia lost to China but were close to beating Italy. They won the key game, Puerto Rico, which meas they can compete. They have that Yugoslavian gen that helps in the deciding moment. Turkey have been a great surprise. I'd expect them to qualify, but clearly the game with Lithuania was a moral boost that has been with them all the tournament. I think they will win this, but not for more than 7 points

Spain v Serbia. How many times have we met these guys (or Yugoslavia)? There have been wins in both directions. There's even a song that mentions how Spain was beating Yugoslvaia in the 84 Olympics semifinals... since then, they won most times. But the last 4-5 years we have been better. In summer firendlies we have beaten them twice by +20. I'd be happy if we make it +11 or alike, but I think we should win. The risk is again that competitive gen

Italy v Lithuania. The most even game of the 8. Italy should be favourites becuase they are Olymnpic silver medal, have only had a narrow defeat to the USA and have won more games than Lithuania. However, they haven't won easily. They prefer a game on 65-75 points, while Lithuania will play to score 80+. That'll be the key. If at Half Time the score is low 30s, it'll be an Italy game. If it's over 45, it'll be Lithuania. I can't really say who'll win it

Greece v China. A very uneaven game. I think greece will win it, but again, they play to low scores, and then any team can socre 65-70 points and cause an upset. Greece are the betetr side and have more resources. They'll go through

France v Angola. Come on Angola! It would be great to have an African side in the top 8. It would be even greater to get France out! Will it happen? Sadly, no... though if France have lost to Lebanon and Angola managed to force 3 extra times with Germany...

USA v Australia. Skip the comments, the yankies will go through

Germany v Nigeria. Nowitzki will be key to this tie, but Nigeria seem to have a better side than we could think. I'd like Germany to win for the simple fact that they would give the American a harder time.
I just checked to see what coefficients they give for each game.

Argentina 1.01 New Zealand 11.00

Greece 1.10 China 6.00

France 1.35 Angola 2.95

Turkey 1.80 Slovenia 1.90

Spain 1.20 Serbia and Montenegro 4.00

USA 1.01 Australia 31.00

Germany 1.07 Nigeria 7.00

Italy 1.95 Lithuania 1.75

So they think that Argentina, Greece, France, Turkey, Spain, USA, Germany and Lithuania should progress.
Ladbrokes have the same information, more or less... for Champions they have this odds:

USA 4/9 (meaning if you bet ?9, you recive your ?9 and ?4 more)

Argentina 9/2 (you'd get ?9 back plus your original ?2)

Spain 6/1

Greece 7/1

Lithuania 33/1 (put ?15 and come back with ?495!)

France 50/1

Germany 50/1

Italy 50/1

Serbia M 66/1

Turkey 66/1

Slovenia 80/1

Australia 200/1

China 200/1

Angola 300/1

New Zealand 1000/1 (I should place ?3 and see...)

Nigeria 1000/1
Can anyone actually tell me why the Lithuania game has been moved? It means I'll have to get up at 5am, although I will get up at 5 I'd rather not.

Is there a solid, valid reason or is it just FIBA doing it fo no particular reason?
[quote name='"Andrius":bd5d1']Can anyone actually tell me why the Lithuania game has been moved? It means I'll have to get up at 5am, although I will get up at 5 I'd rather not.

Is there a solid, valid reason or is it just FIBA doing it fo no particular reason?[/quote]

They like to do nonsense like this. The main reason I see is that FIBA wanted Spain vs Serbia to be shown at the best time and moved our game <!-- s:thudown: -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/thudown.gif[/img]<!-- s:thudown: -->
Well, hopefully it won't affect the players...
In fact, it was the Spanish TV that asked for the game to be moved... after all, it'd be even earlier for Spaniards (Lithuania is closer to Japan) and, think positively, you'd have a few hours rest more
I just didnt't like the fact that I'd have to get up at 5am.

Although it's now 4:22am and I'm up.

Starting to get a little anxious....
Argentina 79:62 New Zealand

Italy 68:71 Lithuania

What a game and what a drama today! I got up early but the game was great. It cost me a lot of nerve cells but it was worth it <!-- sSmile -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif[/img]<!-- sSmile --> For a neutral spectator this should have been excellent 4th quarter especially. We had 10 point lead in the middle of 4th quarter then Marco Mordente hit 3-pointer with Gustas foul. He hit the free-throw and Italy steal the ball when Lithuania threw-in and scored 2 more points so it was basically 6 points in one attack. And our lead was only 4 points. The the hell started. Both teams scored some points. The the fouling started. Belinelli missed one foul. Then it happened again. Kleiza go fouled but missed both free-throws bu Songaila a rebound and he was fouled. He missed both free-throws too! But Darjus Lavrinovic tapped the ball into the basket 68:71 with 3 seconds left. It looked like it's over but Macas fouled Basille from 3pt and he had 3 free-throws but missed them all!
3 seconds seemed to last a lifetime...

Thankfully, it's over and luckily for us we're through to fight another day...

What I didn't like was when the Italians "bullied" the referees into giving them three seconds, but overall the game was great. Songaila did great in the second half, scoring free throws well.

We're gonna play the winners of Serbia v Spain and I'd rather have Serbia since I fear the Spain would be too good for us.
I thought Lithuanians didn't like the Serbians too much...

Congratulations to you two. I fancied Lithuania to beat Italy, not because I think the ame will be easier (as it won't, just different) but because Italy v Spain have an element of derby game that makes it hard and tight, and I don't like Italy

we are +12 at HT by the way
Turkey 90:84 Slovenia

So the first quarter-final couple is clear. It's Argentina vs Turkey.

Spain will probably win as expected. It should be very interesting game LTU vs ESP.
Spain started well in the first quarter 20-10 and made an attempt for a escape in the second quarter but Sebia managed to cut the difference. Spain did a little push in the end to break to 12 points

The third quarter Spain manged to break to 18 points but Serbia left the difference in 14. Slowly but safely the difference kept growing and we were 77-58 6 minutes to go. Serbia wouldn't get to 80 points even if the game went to 50 minutes.

The difference went to 22 when Rudy Fernandez scored a 3 pointer to leave the score in 80-58, it was getting embarrasing...

They made a bit of a recovery, but it was a good and clear win. 87-75
Argetina v Turkey

Spain v Lithuania

Those 4 for a palce in the final...

I think Argentina and Spain will confirm they are the great alternatives to the USA, and also that they have won their groups nice and easy, plus they have also won their laast game by the bigger margins

However, I think Turkey and Lthuania will give them two a hard time and the games should be really interesting. And there's a good price for the winners, a likely medal
Germany 78:77 Nigeria

USA 113:73 Australia

France 68:62 Angola

Greece 95:64 China

Again Germany were lucky and they are lucky to get weaker teams because otherwise they will be knocked out of the group stage already.
come on Lithuania or USA aslong as one of those two win ill be happy. So far so good for both of them both progressing through nicely
I'm setting my sights low on this one since Spain have been very good in this tournament (not lost a game yet) and we've struggled but I'll be behind the Lithuanian team 100%.

EDIT: It's the end of the first and we've lost the game by an embarrassing margin already! Well, too many mistakes, missed shots and overall bad play means we've pretty much lost the game with 30 minutes lef to play <!-- sSad -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/sad.gif[/img]<!-- sSad -->

2nd EDIT: HALF-TIME Spain aren't playing amazing (as the scoreline would suggest), they're playing a decent game and we're playing ridiculously badly and making it easy for them.

3rd EDIT: We've lost the game with 10 minutes to go and are officially an embarrasment. No chance left, just need to at least keep the margin as low as possible. Well done to Spain, I guess. This is our worst performance in the tournament mainly because we lost the ball consistently one after another, e.g. start of the third I think we lost three turnovers in a row, and there's no accuracy at all.
I wouldn't be so tough in Lithuania, maybe Spain just didn't let them get into the game

Prior to the game, Garbajosa (number 15) said in an interview supporters shouldn't expect Spain to break the game by the second quarter, as they have done so far, because this game would be really tough. Lithuania's shooting power was something to consider and Garbajosa said Spain would need to keep Lithuania well under 20 points per quarter to win.

Let's go to the game. Spain started 6-0, 2 three-pointers, and 11-3, another 3-pointer. Lithuania started chasing Spain from the start. Spain managed to make a nice gap after the first quarter, 28-11, and that was it.

You'd expect Lithuania to fight back quickly but Spain didn't let them and the difference was over 20 points for the first time. A nice recovery from Lithuania only managed to reduce the gap to 10-11 points, but never crossing that psychological barrier that are the 10 points. The second quarter ended 19-19 and all Lithuanian's efforts were only good to even the partial score

So again I thought Lithuania would throw all their strength against Spain at the begining of the third half, but Spain made a 10-0 start. The game was officially dead. Spain had deffended well (there were a few interceptions) and the last quarter was useless, though Lithuania managed to win the partial score.

All in all, Spain are nowadays better, probably the best European side. We have all our 7 games and by an average on 25 points and we have equaled our best World Championships result (4th, Colombia 82). We have beaten two of the classic European schools (Serbia, Lithuania) and we did it well... The team looks great. One more win for a medal, 2 wins for the gold

Lithuania will bounce back, after all the tournament hasn't been so bad. They took Greece to extra time and could have won it before that, they surprisngly lost to Turkey bt by a narrow margin, they beat Brazil and Australia well and defeated the Olympic Silver medal, and will end in the top 8. Maybe, had they won their group and had had Greece's route, they would have been in the semifinals with the USA...

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