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FIBA Worlds: Games To Watch/Open Thread 1.9.10

Hey! Check out a rewind of Yesterday's Action below!

Feel free to post your thoughts about the games in the comments section.

This will be an intense day of action, as some teams battle for positioning and other teams fight to avoid elimination. If there was any time to start watching the FIBA World Championship, it would be now. There are games not listed here though that have the potential to be huge upsets and where smaller-time teams are fighting for that 4th spot, so feel free to look here for the full schedule of today's games. (Subtract 8 hours to get the time in CST.) Also check here for up to date group standings.

Note: This is a general guide to the games of today, and shouldn't necessarily be taken as a command to watch every single game on the list. Rather, think of it as a friendly introduction to international basketball, allowing you to more easily select a game to watch that suits your viewing style from the best games available. Also, the previews below are just meant to be short blurbs of why you should watch the game. Don't take it as in-depth analysis. For that, go to my previews of the respective groups.

Team Thunder:

Team USA (Durant, Westbrook) vs. Iran

Time: 11:00 AM Central Standard Time

Network: ESPN

Analysis/Prediction: It will be interesting to see how Hamed Haddadi matches up against Team USA's bigs, and to see if he can give them fits like Tiago Splitter did. But, he can't do it alone, and this should be a easy win for Team USA. They'll win by about 25.

Serbia (Krstic) vs. Australia

Time: 8:30 AM Central Standard Time

Network: ESPN 3 Only

Analysis/Prediction: Australia has been a bit of an enigma in the tournament so far, crushing Germany, almost beating group Favourite Argentina, and then almost losing to group punching bag Jordan. But I think with Krstic coming back off of his suspension, Serbia should be able to handle Australia quite well. I expect them to win by about 10.

Germany (Pleiss) vs. Angola

Time: 11:00 AM Central Standard Time

Network: ESPN 3 Only

Analysis/Prediction: Germany was stomped by quick guards on Australia's part, so, by my calculations, they should get creamed by Angola here. I know it's probably not the most likely thing to happen, but this is the type of team Angola was designed to defeat. Realistically, I think Angola will win by about 10. But I could be totally wrong.

Below: 3 Other Games to Watch, What's on TV!

3 Other Games to Watch:

3. China vs. Russia

Time: 8:00 AM Central Standard Time

Network: ESPN 3 Only

Analysis/Prediction: China will be fighting to advance, while Russia will be fighting to get the 2nd spot in Group C. I could see either team winning this one, with both teams having large, plodding big men. But I'll go with Russia here, as I think they can score better on the inside.

2. Turkey vs. Puerto Rico

Time: 1:00 PM Central Standard Time

Network: ESPN 3 Only

Analysis/Prediction: Here, Turkey faces a legitimate threat to an undefeated campaign in Group C. Puerto Rico is only 1-2, but they played extremely close games with Greece and Russia, only to collapse at the end. Here, I expect history to repeat itself, and for the home crowd to propel Turkey to a 7 point win.

1. France vs. Lithuania

Time: 1:30 PM Central Standard Time

Network: ESPN 3 Only

Analysis/Prediction: This will determine who will win Group D, and it should be an exciting one. Both teams have gotten to where they are on questionable terms, so it should be interesting to see who actually comes out on top. I'll predict France by about 5.

What's on TV:

Brazil vs. Slovenia

Time: 10:30 AM Central Standard Time

Network: NBATV

Analysis/Prediction: This is the 2nd Place game for Group B, and an important one for whomever wants an easier matchup in the Round of 16. One only needs to look at how both teams performed against the US in order to predict who will win this one, though. Brazil by about 10.