FIBA World Cup 2014: Full Schedule and Championship Predictions

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2014

USA Basketball forward/center Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Jazz, left,  watches teammate Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets post up during a team practice at the Brooklyn Nets training facility in East Rutherford, N.J., Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Team USA faces the Dominican Republic in an exhibition game Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York in preparation for the FIBA World Cup tournament Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

This Saturday, the tune-up games end and the first official action of FIBA World Cup 2014 kicks off. The entire schedule can be found on the FIBA site, but we'll also break it down below and predict the final, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 14 and air on ESPN2, as Awful Announcing revealed Tuesday.

Can't get enough of all things FIBA World Cup? This year, the ESPN networks will combine to air every single matchup. ESPN3 will stream all 63 games, while ESPN2 and ESPN will cover all of Team USA's games. 

Let's take a look at the full schedule, with TV networks noted where applicable: 

FIBA World Cup Pool Play Schedule
DateTime (ET)MatchupGroup
Aug. 306:30 a.m.Croatia vs. PhilippinesB
6:30 a.m.Ukraine vs. Dominican RepublicC
7:30 a.m.Angola vs. South KoreaD
9:30 a.m.Egypt vs. SerbiaA
10:00 a.m.New Zealand vs. TurkeyC
11:30 a.m.Austria vs. SloveniaD
11:30 a.m.Puerto Rico vs. ArgentinaB
NoonFrance vs. Brazil (NBA TV)A
2:00 p.m.Mexico vs. LithuaniaD
2:00 p.m.Greece vs. SenegalB
3:30 p.m.United States vs. Finland (ESPN)C
4:00 p.m.Iran vs. SpainA
Aug. 316:30 a.m.Dominican Republic vs. New ZealandC
7:30 a.m.South Korea vs. AustraliaD
7:30 a.m.Argentina vs. Croatia (NBA TV)B
9:30 a.m.Serbia vs. France (NBA TV)A
10:00 a.m.Finland vs. UkraineC
11:30 a.m.Slovenia vs. MexicoD
11:30 a.m.Senegal vs. Puerto RicoB
NoonBrazil vs. Iran (NBA TV)A
2:00 p.m.Lithuania vs. AngolaD
2:00 p.m.Philippines vs. GreeceB
3:30 p.m.Turkey vs. United States (ESPN)C
4:00 p.m.Spain vs. EgyptA
Sept. 16:30 a.m.Croatia vs. SenegalB
9:30 a.m.Iran vs. SerbiaA
11:30 a.m.Argentina vs. Philippines (NBA TV)B
NoonFrance vs. EgyptA
2:00 p.m.Puerto Rico vs. Greece (NBA TV)B
4:00 p.m.Brazil vs. Spain (NBA TV)A
Sept. 27:30 a.m.Angola vs. MexicoD
9:00 a.m.Ukraine vs. TurkeyC
11:30 a.m.Australia vs. LithuaniaD
11:30 a.m.United States vs. New Zealand (ESPN2)C
2:00 p.m.South Korea vs. Slovenia (NBA TV)D
3:30 p.m.Finland vs. Dominican RepublicC
Sept. 37:30 a.m.Mexico vs. Australia (NBA TV)D
7:30 a.m.Philippines vs. Puerto RicoB
9:00 a.m.New Zealand vs. UkraineC
9:30 a.m.Egypt vs. IranA
11:30 a.m.Slovenia vs. AngolaD
11:30 a.m.Senegal vs. ArgentinaB
11:30 a.m.Turkey vs. FinlandC
NoonSerbia vs. Brazil (NBA TV)A
2:00 p.m.Lithuania vs. South KoreaD
2:00 p.m.Greece vs. CroatiaB
3:30 p.m.Dominican Republic vs. United States (ESPN2)C
4:00 p.m.Spain vs. FranceA
Sept. 47:30 a.m.Australia vs. AngolaD
8:00 a.m.Senegal vs. PhilippinesB
9:00 a.m.Finland vs. New ZealandC
9:30 a.m.Brazil vs. Egypt (NBA TV)A
11:30 a.m.South Korea vs. MexicoD
11:30 a.m.Ukraine vs. United States (ESPN2)C
NoonIran vs. FranceA
NoonCroatia vs. Puerto RicoB
3:30 p.m.Lithuania vs. SloveniaD
3:30 p.m.Turkey vs. Dominican RepublicC
4:00 p.m.Serbia vs. Spain (NBA TV)A
4:00 p.m.Argentina vs. GreeceB

After group play, the action will resume with the round of 16 beginning on Sept. 6-7, with the quarterfinals being played on Sept. 9-10, the semifinals on Sept. 11-12, the third-place matchup on Sept. 13 and the final the following day, in a slight deviation from the 2010 format. 

Which two teams are most likely to face off on Sept. 14? Team USA, ranked No. 1 in the world, has a tougher road than normal with stars like Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant out and Paul George's injury. World No. 2 Spain is an obvious favorite, featuring big men Pau and Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Argentina, ranked third in the world, should easily win in Group B play, but can it make it through the semifinals?

Final Prediction: United States vs. Spain

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 12: The USA Senior Men's National Team celebrate following the game against Turkey during the 2010 World Championships of Basketball on September 12, 2010 at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey. NOTE TO USER: User express
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Team USA announced its final roster on Aug. 22. The final moves reflected an effort on the part of the United States to get bigger before heading to Spain. 

Team USA is undersized compared to the top international teams. Turkey's team, which the United States will face on Aug. 31 in a rematch of the 2010 FIBA World Championship final, has been nicknamed "12 Giant Men." 

Thus, big men Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Mason Plumlee and Kenneth Faried made it past the cuts to make the United States competitive in size. With point guard Derrick Rose healthy enough to play, Damian Lillard was cut. 

The United States will need to beat its Group C competitors: Finland, No. 7 Turkey, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and Ukraine. Luckily, their draw landed them in a group with only one fellow top-10 team, so while pool play will be no picnic for Team USA, they should make it through to face Spain in the final.

Spain is a team that has no worries about size. It has one of the best frontcourts in the tournament with the Gasol brothers and Ibaka, in addition to Jose Calderon and Ricky Rubio in the backcourt. 

To make it to the final to face the United States, Spain will need to beat No. 8 France on Sept. 3. But there's no doubt that in addition to having two of the most talented rosters, a Team USA-Spain final would make for extremely compelling television.


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