By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow, March 2, is the set tip-off date for the Round of 16 stage in the Basketball Champions League and this year’s postseason might be the most interesting so far.
It will surely feature something for every fan out there and Eurohoops has picked out five storylines to watch out for as the teams fight for a spot in the Final Eight.
Group format bringing more excitement and competitiveness
This year has been unique for every competition in sports and the Basketball Champions League has been no exception. FIBA’s elite league adjusted though with some changes and it adjusted well.
Doubling up the number of groups (8 x 4) and playing every other week gave the teams much-needed spacing in the schedule to prepare, balance out the obligation but also postpone games and overcome any coronavirus-related challenges.
However, outside of the technical advantages, it also brought out more from the teams which now had to take every game seriously in order to secure the two available tickets from each group. Every game mattered and a lot of teams had to fight for their spots until the very last game.
BCL decided to keep the same format for the playoffs as well, four groups of four teams in this case, and that has made the upcoming Round of 16 arguably much more interesting than the previous knockout phases.
Not to mention that COVID hasn’t been ‘dealt’ with yet across the globe and the teams will still need some help. One opening game of the BCL playoffs has already been postponed – AEK vs Nizhny Novgorod.