Today marks the last day of the Preliminary Round of the 2010 FIBA World Championships, as the tournament switches to single-elimination starting on Saturday. With 12 games on the schedule for today, FIBA sure knows how to end the first round with a bang.
The game that most of you will care about tips off at 9:30 a.m. ET, as Team USA goes for the Group B sweep against Tunisia. If the U.S. can avoid the upset, they'll have locked up the top overall seed moving forward in the tournament.
Below, you'll find the times and viewing schedule for every game on Thursday, with all times presented in EST. Every game on Thursday's schedule is viewable through ESPN3.com—don't tell your bosses that I told you.
Group C: Ivory Coast (0-4) at Puerto Rico (1-3)
Here, we've got a matchup between the fourth and sixth place teams in Group C. If Puerto Rico can defeat the winless Ivory Coast, they've booked their ticket for the Round of 16; otherwise, they're sweating out the China-Greece matchup later in the day.
Group D: Canada (0-4) at Spain (2-2)
Spain will look to rebound after two surprising losses to France and Lithuania, and who better to rebound against than a winless Canada squad now without New York Knicks rookie Andy Rautins? To Canada's credit, they've kept each of their four losses close—their largest margin of defeat, against both Lebanon and New Zealand, was 10 points.
Will the U.S. emerge from the Preliminary Round undefeated?
Group B: Tunisia (0-4) at United States (4-0): Viewable on ESPN2
Team USA looks to finish out its undefeated run through Group B, with only last-place Tunisia standing in their way. There's not much reason to think of this as anything but a tune-up for the Round of 16 games, which the U.S. will appear in on Monday with a victory here.
Group A: Australia (2-2) at Angola (2-2)
Australia and Angola will be the other teams tipping off at 9:30, with a third place spot in Group A on the line for the winner. Given that both teams beat Germany, it appears that they've both already secured a spot in the Round of 16; now, they're just trying to avoid a loss here and a likely date with Team USA in the Round of 16.
Group C: Russia (3-1) at Greece (3-1)
This will be one of the better matchups of the day, as the Russians, who have largely been flying under the radar this tournament, will matchup against the Greeks. Hopefully we can avoid a chair-throwing incident again.
Group D: Lithuania (4-0) at Lebanon (1-3)
Lithuania has nothing to play for here, with the top seed in Group D already locked up; then again, at 1-3 and with losses to both of the 2-2 teams in Group D, it's not like Lebanon has a whole lot more to play for than national pride.
Group A: Serbia (3-1) at Argentina (4-0), Viewable on NBA TV
Here, we've got another one of the day's marquee matchups, as the other half of the infamous FIBA brawl (Serbia) takes on one of the prohibitive favorites to win the whole tournament (Argentina). Argentina's Luis Scola, of Houston Rockets fame, has been on an incredible tear through the tournament so far; if he keeps it up, Argentina will be a bear of a team to stop.
Group B: Iran (1-3) at Slovenia (3-1)
Slovenia's got the second seed in Group B locked up, and Iran can't move past Brazil or Croatia for one of Group B's four spots to advance. Unless you're pumped about seeing Goran Dragic torch some unsuspecting Iranians, probably best to move along.
Group D: France (3-1) at New Zealand (2-2)
France has to be one of the surprises of the tournament so far; despite not having Joakim Noah, Tony Parker, and Roddy Beaubois, they've managed an upset of Spain and a 3-1 record overall. New Zealand's locked into a fourth place finish in Group D, so don't expect too may fireworks from the New Zealand coach.
Group C: China (1-3) at Turkey (4-0), Viewable on NBA TV
Here's the last game of the day that's viewable on TV, as undefeated host Turkey takes on Yi Jianlian and China. Jianlian's been showing a side of himself the Wizards can only hope he brings to Washington this fall, but the Turkish team are likely going to put a hurt on China.
Group B: Croatia (2-2) at Brazil (2-2)
Brazil, like Spain, is another team that's surprisingly 2-2 after four games, after suffering back-to-back losses to the U.S. and to Slovenia. They'll be up against the Croatians for third place in Group B, with the winner earning the right to avoid Group A's No. 1 seed in the round of 16.
Group A: Germany (1-3) at Jordan (0-4)
In the final game of the day, we've got two teams with absolutely no chance of making the Round of 16, and who are going home after this game. Do yourself a favor and watch Brazil-Croatia instead.