Canada, Greece, Czech Republic, Turkey land in loaded Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Eight men’s basketball teams have already clinched spots in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (listed by FIBA ranking):
1. United States
The other four teams in the 2020 Games will be determined by Olympic Qualifying Tournaments held in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia and Canada this summer. The winner of each OQT will advance to Tokyo.
Here are the draws (listed by FIBA ranking):
19. Dominican Republic
24. New Zealand
17. Puerto Rico
10. Czech Republic
Each team will play the other two in its group. The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals, the top team in Group A facing the second team in Group B and vice versa. The semifinal winners will face in a winner-take-all final.
The rankings consider the last eight years. So, though more-recent games are weighed more heavily, old results could skew a team’s ranking relative to its ability this summer.
- Serbia-Italy could be a fun final in the Serbia OQT.
- Lithuania sets a high standard in the OQT it will host and should breeze to the semifinals. But if Luka Doncic plays, he could push Slovenia ahead. Even Poland could put up a fight from Group B.
- The best two teams in the Croatia OQT are in Group B – Croatia and Brazil. Will home-court advantage make the difference? These teams could meet twice.
- The Canada OQT is loaded. With Jamal Murray already on board, Canada has the talent base to massively outperform its ranking. But Greece, Czech Republic and Turkey are tough. If Giannis Antetokounmpo plays for Greece (don’t count on it), he could swing everything.