The Basketball World Cup starts Friday, spread out across three countries for the first two rounds before all the biggest games get played in Manila to decide which nation will go home with gold medals and the Naismith Trophy on Sept. 10. Spain is the defending champion, having won in China four years ago. The U.S. was only seventh in that tournament, its worst finish ever in a major international event. But the Americans have high hopes, and enter as the tournament favorites. Seven teams will directly qualify for the Paris Olympics based on their finish. It’ll be the top two teams from the Americas Region, the top two from Europe, and one each from Africa, Asia and Oceania.