Thursday, November 20, 2008

One More Game for Extrugasa....

With only one game left in Group J of Eurocup, here's how Group J looks after five games:


On Wednesday November 26th, Tarbes plays Ribera. Tarbes had a tough time playing Ribera, winning by one point in Italy 65-64. This time, Tarbes will be playing on its home court and it hasn't lost a game all year. It doesn't really matter if Tarbes wins or loses; Tarbes is fighting for position.

Assuming that Tarbes wins, this leaves a game versus Olivais on Thursday November 27th - Thanksgiving Day in America. Olivais won at home 74-72 in their last meeting and this match could go either way.

So how does the second round work? There are twelve groups with four teams in each group. Forty teams in all. Thirty-two of those teams go to the next round:

12 first-place finishers
12 second-place finishers
8 third place finishers

32 total second-round teams

If Extrugasa beats Olivais, that will clinch second place in Group J. Extrugasa will automatically advance to the second round.

If they lose, then they finish in third place. Ribera could theoretically beat Tarbes and tie with Extrugasa, but both of Extrugasa's victories have come at Ribera's expense. If Extrugasa finishes third, then

a) they only have a 2/3 chance of going to the second round, and
b) they'll end up playing one of the top eight teams in Eurocup in the second round - and seven teams in Eurocup are currently undefeated.

Extrugasa had high hopes this year both in the Spanish League and in Eurocup. Going to the playoffs in the Spanish League is more and more uncertain; going to the second round - even if they lose - would save Extrugasa some embarassment. Like it or not, this Olivais game next Thursday is looking like a must-win situation.

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