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FIBA World Cup Group C Preview: Weakened USA Still Favorites

Written by: Christian Jope
Published August 11, 2023
11 min read
  • Group C is the most star-studded of the FIBA Basketball World Cup
  • The United States is the clear favorite to win Group C
  • Group C will play their matches at Mall of Asia Arena in Manila

Group C of the FIBA Basketball World Cup features the world's most star-studded rosters due to the presence of the United States. A team full of NBA-level, while not its elite, talent, the United States is the easy choice to win the 2023 FIBA World Cup. However, after their 2019 disappointment, the United States looked to build their roster from the ground up, now featuring rising stars in the basketball world rather than the established superstars that the tournament is accustomed to seeing.

Longtime World Cup contenders Greece will be challenging for the group's top spot. An experienced and tough-minded team led by one of the world's best, Giannis Antetokounmpo, you shouldn't take Greece lightly. Sporting an organized squad and debatably the best team in the tournament, it's worth considering Greece for the upset.

Closing out the group is New Zealand and Jordan. The Tall Blacks, as New Zealand are fondly named, aren't the most skilled team in the group, but they've shown a tenacity that gives even the most prominent country difficulty. And Jordan, who are participating in the World Cup for the second time, aims to upset the group and prove themselves as one of the top teams in Asia and the world!

Odds to Win Group C at the FIBA World Cup

Odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook on August 10th, 2023. 

New Zealand+1800
FIBA World Cup Group C Predictions

Group C Schedule

26 August 2023: Jordan vs Greece (4:45 AM EST)

  • Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, PHL

26 August 2023: USA vs New Zealand (8:40 AM EST)

  • Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, PHL

28 August 2023: New Zealand vs Jordan (4:45 AM EST)

  • Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, PHL

28 August 2023: Greece vs USA (8:40 AM EST)

  • Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, PHL

30 August 2023: USA vs Jordan (4:40 AM EST)

  • Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, PHL

30 August 2023: Greece vs New Zealand (8:40 AM EST)

  • Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, PHL

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Who Is the Favorite to Win Group C at the FIBA World Cup?

United States (-620)

FIBA World Ranking: 2

Odds to win the World Cup: -115 BET HERE

Odds to win Group C: -620 BET HERE

FIBA World Cup Appearances: 19

FIBA World Cup All-Time Record: 129-29 (.816)

Best World Cup Finish: 1 (1954, 1986, 1994, 2010, 2014)

Head Coach: Steve Kerr

Key Players: Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson, Jaren Jackson Jr.

NBA Players: Paolo Banchero (ORL), Mikal Bridges (NKM), Jalen Brunson (NYK), Anthony Edwards (MIN), Tyrese Haliburton (IND), Josh Hart (NYK), Brandon Ingram (NOP), Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM), Cameron Johnson (BKN), Walker Kessler (UTA), Bobby Portis (MIL), Austin Reaves (LAL)

The United States entered the FIBA Basketball World Cup with their eyes set on revenge after finishing seventh in 2019. They earned qualification during the February qualifying window behind the leadership of head coach Jim Boylen and a squad of primarily G-League talents and former NBA players Joe Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, and Langston Galloway.

They now enter the tournament with an NBA-level squad, but not one most fans would expect. Stars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant are out, and rising stars like Anthony Edwards, Mikal Bridges, and Jaren Jackson Jr. are in. It's a young squad that is inexperienced on the international stage. However, their talent can't be denied.

The United States is rightly the favorite to win Group C, with the best depth and quality at every position in the tournament; their closest challenger will be Greece, whose effectiveness in the paint may be a game-changer in their matchup. Regardless, the United States should top the group barring a significant collapse.

Who Are the Contenders to Win Group C at the FIBA World Cup?

Greece (+470)

FIBA World Ranking: 9

Odds to win the World Cup: +1900 BET HERE

Odds to win Group C: +470 BET HERE

FIBA World Cup Appearances: 9

FIBA World Cup All-Time Record: 36-25 (.590)

Best World Cup Finish: 2 (2006)

Head Coach: Dimitrios Itoudis

Key Players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kostas Papanikolaou, Georgios Papagiannis

NBA Players: Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (MIL)

Greece were dominant through their qualification window, earning their spot at the FIBA Basketball World Cup with a window to spare. While they could not secure a place in the FIBA Eurobasket 2022 Semi-Finals after losing to Germany, Greece could qualify for the FIBA World Cup during the November 2022 qualification window.

Size and strength at the rim define this Greek team through the ability of big men Giannis Antetokounmpo and Georgios Papagiannis, whose presence inside will make life difficult for any team. But don't discount their perimeter play, as Thomas Walkup and Kostas Papanikolaou are versatile playmakers. Greece plays a classic inside-out game that many countries, without the inside presence, can't handle.

Greece is the second favorite to win Group C at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. No team has the quality to be a clear favorite over the United States. Still, Greece has an impressive composition, and the best player in the group is Giannis Antetokounmpo. An upset isn't out of reach for them.

New Zealand (+1800)

FIBA World Ranking: 26

Odds to win the World Cup: +20000 BET HERE

Odds to win Group C: +1800 BET HERE

FIBA World Cup Appearances: 7

FIBA World Cup All-Time Record: 4 (2002)

Best World Cup Finish: 15-22 (.405)

Head Coach: Pero Cameron

Key Players: Flynn Cameron, Corey Webster, Sam Mennenga

NBA Players: n/a

New Zealand comfortably earned their place in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup after finishing 19th in 2019. Through the Asian Qualifiers, the Tall Blacks impressed, especially in a 60-point rout of FIBA World Cup host Philippines. They eventually secured qualification in the August 2022 window, with plenty of time to spare and experiment with roster makeup.

Unfortunately for New Zealand, NBA center Steven Adams won't be playing dressing for the Tall Blacks due to a knee injury. Instead, they'll be led by coaches son Flynn Cameron, who was instrumental in the Tall Blacks' success at the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup, while Sam Mennenga and Samuel Timmins will be doing most of their work on the glass.

The Tall Blacks hope to create another Cinderella-esque run as they did in 2002, but their quality isn't quite there. Outside of Cameron, New Zealand lacks guard play, and despite some decent shooters like Corey Webster, their offense could be more versatile. Size is something that the Tall Blacks have, but it doesn't project to have enough impact against the likes of the USA and Greece.

Jordan (+3500)

FIBA World Ranking: 33

Odds to win the World Cup: +20000 BET HERE

Odds to win Group C: +3500 BET HERE

FIBA World Cup Appearances: 3

FIBA World Cup All-Time Record: 1-9 (.100)

Best World Cup Finish: 23 (2010)

Head Coach: Wesam Al-Sous

Key Players: Dar Tucker, Freddy Ibrahim, Ahmad Al Dwairi

NBA Players: n/a

Jordan returned to the FIBA Basketball World Cup for the first time since finishing 23rd in 2010. They earned qualification through the February 2023 window due to their past run and a win by New Zealand over Saudi Arabia. With their ticket to the FIBA World Cup secured, Jordan used the rest of the qualification windows to familiarize themselves with their roster and opponents.

All eyes are on guard Freddy Ibrahim and Dar Tucker, who lead Jordan's backcourt. Ibrahim is a capable point guard with versatility in his production, while Dar Tucker is an experienced backcourt partner who is one of the team's best individual scorers. Big man Ahmad Al-Dwairi will handle the paint for Jordan.

Jordan proved to be a force in the Asian qualifiers, but they have weaknesses. They are a solid passing team that can succeed in the paint. Still, their inconsistency and lack of versatility on the defensive end will be an issue in an athletic and pacey Group C. Don't expect Jordan to challenge for the top of the group.

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FIBA World Cup - Group C FAQs

Who Is the Highest-Ranked Team in Group C?

Where Will Group C Play Their Games?

What Is the Highest Finish by a Team in Group C at the FIBA Basketball World Cup?

Which NBA Players Will Compete in Group C of the FIBA Basketball World Cup?

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Christian Jope

1438 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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