This week’s 30th and final round of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season will be more decisive than anyone could have imagined when the competition changed to a round-robin format, allowing all teams to face each other – a first for European team sports – just three years ago.
Now, going into their games on Thursday and Friday, six teams trying to claim three open spots in the playoffs still face 43 tiebreak possibilities leading to 64 scenarios that decide which of them will advance.
This tightest playoffs race imaginable, going down to the last two days after 232 games over more than five action-packed months, is a testament to the EuroLeague’s increasing competitiveness under that new format. The dazzling number of scenarios that could unfold over 48 hours starting Thursday evening are the result of all 16 proud clubs living up to – and enhancing – the EuroLeague’s reputation for games that always count. All eight of them counted in Round 29, and six of eight in Round 30 will be filled with twists of fate.
For the teams, their fans and lovers of basketball, the high drama of the last weeks will reach a peak this week, paving the way for even more peaks during the best-of-five playoffs, starting Tuesday, April 16, and going forward to the Final Four, on May 17 and 19 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.