For the elite teams, the format of the FIBA Under-19 World Championships does not cause much stress in the first two rounds. Initially, 16 teams are divided into four pods, and the top three teams in each pod advance out of the preliminary. Those twelve teams are then divided into two pods of six for the next round, and four of each six advance. That leaves eight teams - which is where we are currently. We have the quarterfinals. Now the real tournament begins.
The remaining eight teams play single elimination over three straight days. On Sunday night, the winner takes all. Team USA is the No. 1 seed and has Canada, China, and Lithuania on their side of the bracket. The other side has Spain vs Australia, and Croatia vs Serbia.
The first game (LIthuania vs China) tips at 7:15 a.m. EST on Friday. Team USA will be the last to play and tip at 2:15, vs Canada. You can watch online via the FIBA feed, but you have to subscribe. Alternatively, the games will be on ESPN3.
A lot of NCAA players are playing in these games. I count 22 from five countries, and all of their teams advanced to the quarterfinals. This is fantastic experience for them, because they're getting good coaching and they're playing in a very serious environment. They've traveled to Prague, and are playing for their country.
Here are the players, and their stats so far:
|Tyler Ennis McIntyre||Canada||Syracuse||Fr.||30.3||21.3||3.7||3.0||52%||33%|
|Dane Pineau||Australia||St. Mary's||Fr.||27.5||12.2||7.8||1.2||46%||67%|
|Xavier Rathan-Mayes||Canada||Florida St||Fr.||25.3||11.5||2.5||1.8||50%||29%|
|Nicholas Duncan||Australia||Boise St||Fr.||21.3||9.5||5.2||1.0||55%||55%|
|Juan Saiz||Spain||Ole Miss||Fr.||20.2||7.8||8.2||0.3||55%||n/a|
|Marcus Smart||USA||Oklahoma St||So.||13.8||7.2||3.0||2.3||48%||27%|
|Duane Notice||Canada||South Carolina||Fr.||23.0||5.8||4.5||1.3||29%||17%|
|Elfrid Payton||USA||LA Lafayette||Jr.||17.3||5.7||3.8||1.3||62%||0%|
|Joseph De Ciman||Canada||Colorado St||So.||17.3||5.2||2.5||0.7||50%||40%|
|Kaza Keane||Canada||Illinois St||So.||14.0||3.2||2.3||2.2||40%||n/a|