Canada, Greece, Czech Republic, Turkey land in loaded Olympic Qualifying Tournament

AP Photo/Morry Gash
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Eight men’s basketball teams have already clinched spots in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (listed by FIBA ranking):

1. United States

2. Spain

3. Australia

4. Argentina

5. France

22. Iran

23. Nigeria

38. Japan

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):

Serbia

Group A

6. Serbia

19. Dominican Republic

24. New Zealand

Group B

12. Italy

17. Puerto Rico

35. Senegal

Lithuania

Group A

8. Lithuania

20. Venezuela

56. Korea

Group B

13. Poland

16. Slovenia

32. Angola

Croatia

Group A

9. Russia

18. Germany

25. Mexico

Group B

11. Brazil

14. Croatia

33. Tunisia

Canada

Group A

7. Greece

21. Canada

27. China

Group B

10. Czech Republic

15. Turkey

43. Uruguay

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.

Observations:

  • 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.