Full Predictions and Preview of 2013 FIBA EuroBasket Tournament

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Full Predictions and Preview of 2013 FIBA EuroBasket Tournament

While the NBA's away, the Euros come out to play.

For two-and-a-half weeks, anyway.

From September 4-22, 24 of Europe's top national squads will take to the hardwood in (where else?) Slovenia, in five different arenas across four cities, to determine a continental champion at FIBA EuroBasket 2013.

The top six teams overall will advance to the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Spain, where spots in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics will be up for grabs, while the rest will later be left to duke it out for four wild-card spots in next year's biggest international competition.

This year's tournament will begin with two rounds of group play, starting with a preliminary round, with four groups of six, from which the top three in each group will advance.

The second round, wherein the remaining 12 teams will be reorganized into two more six-team conglomerations, will determine the four teams from each group moving on to the knockout stage. From there, the eight remaining squads will battle through three rounds to do-or-die play on the way to crowning Europe's best.

Hoops diehards won't see the likes of Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Pau Gasol (Spain), Joakim Noah (France), Luol Deng (Great Britain) and Nikola Pekovic (Serbia) suiting up for their respective countries.

Still, between NBA regulars (Marc Gasol, Tony Parker, Ersan Ilyasova), overseas studs (Sergey Karasev, Dario Saric, Luigi Datome) and American ex-pats (Pooh Jeter, Bo McCalebb, Tyrese Rice), the 38th edition of the European Basketball Championship won't be short on star power or excitement by any stretch.

Read on for a full breakdown of participating countries, players to watch, predictions and more!

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