2023 FIBA World Cup Preview: Who will win the gold medal?

How the FIBA World Cup tournament works, who could win, who we think is going to win, and other storylines to watch. Read all that and more in Fansided’s 2023 FIBA World Cup preview.
2023 FIBA World Cup - USA Men's National Team v Puerto Rico
2023 FIBA World Cup - USA Men's National Team v Puerto Rico / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Karl-Anthony Towns
Apr 21, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Group I: Karl-Anthony Towns, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Simone Fontecchio, and Ethan Thompson will be trying to lead their countries to the quarterfinals

This is officially the second phase of group play, group I-L. 

Each team will play two games in this phase against the two teams who they have NOT already played.

Teams: Dominican Republic, Serbia, Italy, Puerto Rico

Who do we expect to advance? Dominican Republic and Serbia

The two big games are the Dominican Republic vs. Serbia, and Serbia vs. Italy. Both teams can take advantage of Serbia’s biggest weakness: their immobile bigs. 

Karl-Anthony Towns can space the floor and force Nikola Milutinov to leave his comfort zone on defense. If Serbia tries to guard Towns with a smaller player, he’ll punish them in the post. 

Italy has a roster full of shooters, at all five positions. They’ll be playing five-out basketball and testing Serbia’s slow-footed bigs as well. Serbia should still have enough talent to win and have the tiebreaker over Italy, but they’ll likely draw Team USA in the quarterfinals.

The Dominican Republic will be in a great position to continue their fairytale run if they can finish first in this group