Olympic Channel Face Off: 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Fan Voting Special

Before the actual tournament tips off, we want to hear your predictions for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
FIBA World Cup Announcement
FIBA World Cup AnnouncementFIBA World Cup Announcement

Leading up the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, we've made this week’s Face Off - our weekly Instagram stories basketball feature - a special one.

While we know the actual World Cup will be between 31 August and 16 September, over the next eight days from 22–29 August, we want you, our audience on Instagram stories and Twitter, to predict the outcome of the World Cup. All you need to do is head over to our Instagram or Twitter to cast your vote to choose your own World Cup winner.

The polls will start each day around 17:00 Central European Summer Time (11:00 U.S. Eastern; midnight China Standard Time) and run for 24 hours before we tally the results.

How it will work

The first two rounds are a bit complicated with lots of games, but we’ve done our best to simplify everything for this campaign.

Round one sees 24 games played in eight groups of four in round robin group format. The top two teams from each of the eight groups will advance to round two where there will be four groups of four and eight total games. The reason there is not 12 games is because the teams from same group that advance will not play each other. (We aren’t counting the classification round of 17-32 where the bottom two teams from round one continue to play.)

We know it is a bit complicated but below is all you need to know and the dates to stay engaged:

Face Off - 2019 FIBA WC Groups
Face Off - 2019 FIBA WC GroupsFace Off - 2019 FIBA WC Groups

On Instagram

22 August: Round one will go live with eight Instagram stories each featuring one of the eight groups of the tournament. Because two teams will advance to the next round and Instagram doesn’t have a voting feature where two items can be selected, you’ll have to respond back with the two countries that you want to advance. At the end of the 24 hours, the two highest voted countries in each group will advance to Round two.

** First round update: Africa, Asia and Oceania know who has qualified: Olympic Channel fans came out in force for this one. However, with all the responses, no team from Africa finished in the top two of their group which means the country with the most votes qualifed for the Olympics. Therefore, after all votes were counted, And with the most amount of votes from Africa's teams, Nigeria returns to the Olympics for the third consecutive time as the first known team from the FIBA World Cup to qualify for Tokyo 2020. Only Japan and China advanced to the second round from Asia and as Japan is already qualified as the Olympic host country, China is the last team from Asia in the tournament and receives their automatic ticket to Tokyo. Even though FIBA's qualifying route combines Asia and Oceania, Oceania receives their own automatic bid to the Olympics and with New Zealand not advancing, Australia also punched their ticket to Tokyo by advancing to the second round. The highest rated team in FIBA's latest power rankings that didn't advance was Lithuania who lost out to Canada and Australia in what is predicted to be the hardest group of the tournament.

24 August: With 16 teams advancing to round two and organised in four groups of four, the same format as round one will be used with you responding with the two countries you want to see advance to the quarterfinals. Where this differs from the actual tournament is the scores will not roll over from round one and therefore, for this fantasy tournament’s sake, the two highest voted teams per group in round two will advance to the quarterfinals.

** Second round update: America's spots are known, Serbia sees early exit, USA's tough road ahead Europe battles it out.: 8 teams remain and Olympic Channel audience don't have as much faith in Serbia as their ranking indicates as they were knocked out finishing third in their group behind Spain and Italy. The early World Cup favourites would now have to go through the Qualification tournaments later this year if they want to make it to Tokyo 2020. Of the eight teams left, 5 come from Europe's qualification zone while Argentina and USA are the two left from the America's meaning that no matter how they finish the rest of the way, both have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Italy, France, Spain, Russia and Greece will battle it out for Europe's two automatic spots while Australia, who has already qualified via Oceania region, now has their eyes on bringing home a World Cup medal.

26 August: This is where the competition becomes straight forward. Like each Face Off week, following the voting results from the day before and going along with the official bracket of the FIBA World Cup, there will be four slides where all that needs to be done is vote which team you want to see advance to the semi-finals.

** Quarterfinals update: Semifinals are set, Italy's dream run continues and all Olympic qualifications are known. Spain took care of Russia and Australia handled Greece. With Australia having already qualified and Spain claiming one of Europe's two spots, both basketball power-houses are set up for a semi-final showdown. USA once again took care of business handling France while Italy can't stop winning earning Europe's second automatic spot. Now they hope their dream run continues in a semi-final match that was not on many people's radar before the tournament began.

28 August: Again, like the quarterfinals, just head over to our Instagram stories and vote for which two teams you want to see in the finals.

** Semifinals update: The fInal see familiar foes as USA and Spain both advance, Italy's dream run came to a halt and Australia narrowly lost. Now, we get a repeat of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals in what is expected to be another close match.

29 August: You've already made it this far so why stop now? With one game to vote for, you know what you need to do to help crown the the champion of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

30 August: Winner officially announced.

** Finals Update: USA WIN! Our fans on Twitter and Instagram vote the same on this one with USA easily handling Spain (69% - 31%) and winning the 2019 fan voting special.

FACE OFF - FIBA 2019 Fan Voting Results
FACE OFF - FIBA 2019 Fan Voting ResultsFACE OFF - FIBA 2019 Fan Voting Results

On Twitter

Like Instagram, round one and two sees a lot going so we’ve made it a bit simpler format using Twitter’s poll feature with all the details below:

22 August: Round one will go live with eight twitter polls featuring each of the eight groups of the tournament. Because two teams will advance to the next round and you can only vote for one team in the poll, the two countries that have the highest percentage of votes for them at the end of the 24 hours, will advance to round two.

** First round update: Africa, Asia and Oceania know who has qualified: Not much variation between Twitter and Instagram regarding the teams that advanced. The hardest group of the tournament, Group H, proved to be the closest race and provide the first round's biggest surprise. Canada won easily but Australia barely beat out Lithuania receiving 26% of the votes compared to Lithuania's 24% meaning that once again, the highest rated team not to advance to the next round from FIBA's latest power rankings was Lithuania. Much like Instagram, however, no team from Africa finished in the top two of their group which means the country with the most votes qualifed for the Olympics. Unlike Instagram, however, after all votes were counted, Senegal saw the highest amount of votes and therefore earned Africa's automatic bid from from the FIBA World Cup to to Tokyo 2020. Only Japan and China advanced to the second round from Asia and as Japan is already qualified as the Olympic host country, China is the last team from Asia in the tournament and receives their automatic ticket to Tokyo. Even though FIBA's qualifying route combines Asia and Oceania, Oceania receives their own automatic bid to the Olympics and with New Zealand not advancing, Australia also punched their ticket to Tokyo by advancing to the second round.

24 August: With only 16 teams advancing to this round and organised in four groups of four, the same format as round one will be used with you voting for the team that advance to the quarterfinals. Where this differs from the actual tournament is the scores will not roll over from round one to round two and therefore, the two highest voted teams per group in round two will advance to the quarterfinals.

** Second round update: Europe and America are still up for grabs, Serbia and Greece see early exit and USA's tough road ahead: 8 teams remain and, just like Instagram, the Olympic Channel audience don't have as much faith in Serbia as their ranking indicates as they were knocked out finishing last in their group behind Spain, Italy and Puerto Rico. Greece, with arguably the best player in the world in Giannis Antetokounmpo, also didn't advance finishing last behind USA, Japan and Brazil. Now, the two early World Cup favourites would now have to go through the Qualification tournaments later this year if they want to make it to Tokyo 2020. Of the eight teams left, four come from Europe's qualification zone while Canada, Argentina and United States fight for America's two spots with Canada and USA going head-to-head and facing off directly in what surely will be a close match-up if the first two rounds indicate anything. Japan, who has already qualified as the Olympic host nation, now has their eyes on bringing home a World Cup medal.

26 August: This is where the competition becomes straight forward. Like each Face Off week and following the voting results from the day before, there will be four polls where all that needs to be done is vote for which team you want to see advance to the semi-finals.

** Quarterfinals update: Semifinals are set, Argentina-USA set up massive showdown and all Olympic qualifications are known. Spain took care of Russia and France handled Japan while the USA once again took care of business and Argentina ended Italy's dream run. With an all Europe semi-final on one side of the bracket and an all-America semi-final on the other, the final four spots for Olympics are set.

28 August: Again, like the quarterfinals, just head over to our Twitter account and vote for which two teams you want to see face off in the finals.

** Semifinals update: The road to the finals were different but but Instagram and Twitter see the same finals matchup as USA and Spain both advance, Japan's dream run came to a halt and France couldn't hold of Spain to claim be the last team from Europe standing. Now, we get a repeat of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals in what is expected to be another close match.

29 August: You've already made it this far so why stop now? With one game to vote for, you know what you need to do to help crown the the champion of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

30 August: Winner officially announced.

** Finals Update: USA WIN! Our fans on Twitter and Instagram vote the same on this one with USA beating Spain with relative ease and winning the 2019 fan voting special.

The tournament is over, voices have been heard and USA is your champion with all automatic qualifications for Tokyo 2020 known!

Don't forget to stay tuned to the Olympic Channel throughout the FIBA World Cup to see how true these predictions are to what the actual results will bring us in China.

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This article was updated on August 30th after the voting was complete.

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