We get used to our own forms of competition in the U.S., but it's good to watch how the rest of the world does it, too. The U.S. and Argentina qualified for the Olympics in Las Vegas last week with a total of 10 teams competing.
In Europe, however, 16 teams are competing for only two Olympic berths and they've moved into the second round. Here's how it works:
In the first round, there were four divisions of four teams and they played each of the teams in their divisions. The top three teams in each division advanced to the second round.
In the second round, there are two divisons of six teams. The top three teams -- those with the best records in the first round -- play the bottom three teams in each division. A total of eight teams -- four from each division -- advance to medal play.
Eight teams play in the quarters, four advance to the semis and the two who survive get to the finals.
It's quite a trip.
The teams in the second round are dominated by NBA players -- Germany with Dirk Nowitzki, France with Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, Spain with four NBA players including Pau Gasol, Lithuania with three NBA players.
If you want to catch up on the action, here's a link. Right now, Dirk leads all scorers with an average of 29 points a game. Parker is second with 25.7 and Gasol is third with 23.7.
-- Jan Hubbard