After losing the first two games of Tokyo Olympics Basketball event, D’Tigers of Nigeria now find themselves in a dicey situation, as they need a comprehensive victory over Italy to reduce or cancel out points deficit they have on ground, plus hoping games in other groups go their way.

The style for this year’s Olympics is different, there is a split of 12 teams into three groups of four. Each team will play for a total of three games. The first- and second-place teams from each group and the two best third-place teams overall will advance to the knockout round.

Looking at the situation in Group B, Nigeria are currently placed 4th, losing two games already. So with two of three 3rd placed teams qualifying for the next round, Nigerians hope D’Tigers will get one spot. But that will come with some complicated permutations.

Note this:

Per the Basketball Rules – Chapter D.4 – Classification of Teams, the following criteria shall be applied:
1. Better record;
2. If the record is the same, better points difference;
3. If the points difference is the same, higher number of points scored;
4. If these criteria still cannot decide, the FIBA World Ranking presented by shall decide on the final classification.

Nigeria cannot win the group, will finish:

  • second if they defeat Italy by nine points or more, and Australia defeat Germany
  • third if they defeat Italy by 5 to 8 points, and Australia defeat Germany
  • third if they defeat Italy, and Germany defeat Australia
  • fourth if they lose to Italy
  • fourth if they beat Italy by less than five points, and Australia defeat Germany

That is not all though. If they are able to secure a 3rd place finish, D’Tigers will now hope that results in other groups go their way. So at least one 3rd place team needs to have an inferior points difference for them to qualify.

The Australians are not in the permutations mix, because they have qualified with two wins, as they are on a quest to win their first ever Olympics medal, after finishing 4th in Rio.