Second Stage For EuroBasket 2011 Set As Field Is Cut In Half

The first stage of EuroBasket 2011 is officially over, as Monday's set wrapped up the initial group stage and cut the field in half. Twelve teams were officially eliminated on Monday, none more surprising than Croatia. The Croats had finished sixth in EuroBasket 2009, made it to the knockouts and nearly knocked off semifinalist Serbia at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and had a favorable draw coming into Lithuania. But an awful loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday and a final defeat to Greece on Monday knocked Croatia out as the Greeks, Macedonia and -- in a shocker -- Finland took Group C's spots in the knockouts.

The remaining 12 teams have been sorted into two groups, and their wins and losses against eliminated teams have been removed from the board. Each team will play three more games in the second group stage, and the teams will the top four records in each group will move to an eight-team knockout round.

France leads Group E, having gone undefeated in the first round. France needed overtime to hand Serbia its only first stage loss on Monday, with Tony Parker scoring 24 points. Parker is the No. 2 scorer in the tournament at 23 point per game, trailing just Great Britain's Luol Deng (23.8). In Group E, France is joined by Serbia, defending European champion Spain, Worlds silver medalist Turkey, host Lithuania and a Dirk Nowitzki-led German squad that France defeated by seven on Friday. Spain dropped its game against Turkey on Monday after sweeping the rest of Group A; Turkey lost to Lithuania and Poland.

Macedonia had its first stage loss to Montenegro wiped off the board as Montenegro is eliminated, leaving the Macedonians atop the board with undefeated Russia, the winners of Group D. Those two teams are trailed by Slovenia, Greece, Georgia and Finland.

The second group stage begins Wednesday.

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