Basketball at the 1972 Summer Olympics

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8th Olympic Basketball Tournament
Munich 1972
Tournament details
Olympics 1972 Summer Olympics
Host nation West Germany
City Munich
Duration August 27, 1972 (1972-08-27)
September 9, 1972 (1972-09-09)
Men's tournament
Teams 16
Medals
1 Gold medalists  Soviet Union
2 Silver medalists  United States
3 Bronze medalists  Cuba
Tournaments
← Mexico City 1968  Montreal 1976 →

Basketball contests at the 1972 Summer Olympics took place at Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle in Munich, Germany from August 27 to September 9. The Soviet Union won the gold medal, after a controversial final against the United States. This was the first time the USA did not win a gold medal since the sport's introduction into the Olympics in 1936. The bronze was won by Cuba, the only Olympic medal they have won in basketball.

Medal summary[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
Men's basketball Soviet Union
Anatoli Polivoda
Modestas Paulauskas
Zurab Sakandelidze
Alzhan Zharmukhamedov
Aleksandr Boloshev
Ivan Edeshko
Sergei Belov
Mikhail Korkiya
Ivan Dvorny
Gennadi Volnov
Aleksandr Belov
Sergei Kovalenko
United States
Kenneth Davis
Doug Collins
Tom Henderson
Mike Bantom
Robert Jones
Dwight Jones
James Forbes
Jim Brewer
Tommy Burleson
Tom McMillen
Kevin Joyce
Ed Ratleff
Cuba
Juan Carlos Domecq Fortuondo
Ruperto Herrera Tabio
Juan Roca Brunet
Pedro Chappe Garcia
Miguel Alvarez Pozo
Rafael Cañizares Poey
Conrado Perez Armenteros
Miguel Calderon Gomez
Tomas Herrera Martinez
Oscar Varona Varona
Alejandro Urgelles Guibot
Franklin Standard Johnson

† – Medals refused by team

Qualification[edit]

Automatic qualifications were granted to the host country and the first four places at the previous tournament. Additional spots were decided by various continental championships held by FIBA plus an additional intercontinental championship that granted two extra berths.

Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania Automatic qualifiers
 Egypt[a]
 Senegal
 Cuba
 Puerto Rico
 Japan
 Philippines
 Italy
 Czechoslovakia
 Poland
 Spain
 Australia  United StatesGold medal in 1968
 SFR YugoslaviaSilver medal in 1968
 Soviet UnionBronze medal in 1968
 Brazil – 4th place in 1968
 West Germany – Olympic hosts
  • a Egypt withdrew from the tournament following the events of the Munich massacre.

Format[edit]

  • Two groups of eight teams are formed, where the top two from each group compete for the medals in a knockout round.
  • The remaining places are defined as follows:
    • Fifth through eighth places are decided in a separate bracket between the third and fourth places from each group in a separate bracket.
    • Ninth through sixteenth places are decided between the fifth through eighth places from each group in separate brackets.

Tie-breaking criteria:

  1. Head to head results
  2. Goal average (not the goal difference) between the tied teams

Preliminary round[edit]

Group A[edit]

The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals, while the remaining teams compete for 5th through 16th places in separate brackets.

Qualified for the semifinals
Team W L PF PA PD Pts 1st Tie
 United States 7 0 542 312 +230 14
 Cuba 6 1 560 445 +115 13
 Brazil 4 3 561 490 +71 11 1W–0L
 Czechoslovakia 4 3 493 489 +4 11 0W–1L
 Spain 3 4 486 500 −14 10 1W–0L
 Australia 3 4 523 524 −1 10 0W–1L
 Japan 1 6 442 643 −201 8
 Egypt 0 7 440 644 −204 7
August 27
10:30
Cuba  105–64  Egypt
August 27
12:00
United States  66–35  Czechoslovakia
August 27
14:30
Japan  55–110  Brazil
August 27
20:00
Spain  79–74  Australia
August 28
9:00
Brazil  110–84  Egypt
August 28
14:30
United States  81–55  Australia
August 28
16:00
Cuba  74–53  Spain
August 28
20:00
Japan  61–74  Czechoslovakia
August 29
9:00
Brazil  72–69  Spain
August 29
14:30
Japan  78–73  Egypt
August 29
20:00
Czechoslovakia  69–68  Australia
August 29
21:30
United States  67–48  Cuba
August 30
10:30
Egypt  58–72  Spain
August 30
14:30
Japan  76–92  Australia
August 30
16:00
Czechoslovakia  65–77  Cuba
August 30
21:30
Brazil  54–61  United States
September 1
21:30
Australia  70–84  Cuba
September 1
21:30
Egypt  31–96  United States
September 1
21:30
Czechoslovakia  82–83  Brazil
September 2
9:00
Australia  75–69  Brazil
September 2
12:00
Egypt  64–94  Czechoslovakia
September 2
14:30
Japan  63–108  Cuba
September 2
18:30
Spain  56–72  United States
September 3
9:00
Japan  33–99  United States
September 3
10:30
Spain  70–74  Czechoslovakia
September 3
18:30
Australia  89–66  Egypt
September 3
21:30
Cuba  64–63  Brazil

Group B[edit]

Qualified for the semifinals
Team W L PF PA PD Pts 1st Tie 2nd Tie
 Soviet Union 7 0 639 479 +160 14
 Italy 5 2 547 471 +76 12 1W–1L 1.072
 SFR Yugoslavia 5 2 582 484 +98 12 1W–1L 1.013
 Puerto Rico 5 2 570 531 +39 12 1W–1L 0.917
 West Germany 3 4 482 518 −36 10
 Poland 2 5 520 536 −16 9
 Philippines 1 6 526 666 −140 8
 Senegal 0 7 405 586 −181 7
August 27
9:00
Poland  90–75  Philippines
August 27
16:00
SFR Yugoslavia  85–78  Italy
August 27
18:30
Senegal  52–94  Soviet Union
August 27
21:30
West Germany  74–81  Puerto Rico
August 28
12:00
West Germany  63–87  Soviet Union
August 28
16:30
Senegal  56–92  Italy
August 28
18:30
Puerto Rico  92–72  Philippines
August 28
21:30
Poland  64–85  SFR Yugoslavia
August 29
10:30
Senegal  59–95  Poland
August 29
12:00
Soviet Union  79–66  Italy
August 29
16:00
Puerto Rico  79–74  SFR Yugoslavia
August 29
18:30
West Germany  93–74  Philippines
August 30
9:00
Soviet Union  94–64  Poland
August 30
12:00
West Germany  57–68  Italy
August 30
18:30
Philippines  76–117  SFR Yugoslavia
August 30
20:00
Puerto Rico  92–57  Senegal
September 1
9:00
Senegal  62–68  Philippines
September 1
12:00
West Germany  56–81  SFR Yugoslavia
September 1
20:00
Italy  71–59  Poland
September 1
21:30
Soviet Union  100–87  Puerto Rico
September 2
12:00
SFR Yugoslavia  73–57  Senegal
September 2
14:30
West Germany  67–65  Poland
September 2
16:00
Philippines  80–111  Soviet Union
September 2
20:00
Italy  71–54  Puerto Rico
September 3
12:00
Italy  101–81  Philippines
September 3
14:30
Poland  83–85  Puerto Rico
September 3
16:00
SFR Yugoslavia  67–74  Soviet Union
September 3
20:00
West Germany  72–62  Senegal

Knockout stage[edit]

Medal bracket[edit]

  Semifinals (September 7[1])     Gold medal (September 9)
                 
  A1   United States 68  
  B2   Italy 38    
      A1   United States 50
      B1   Soviet Union 51
  B1   Soviet Union 67    
  A2   Cuba 61   Bronze medal (September 8)
 
B2   Italy 65
  A2   Cuba 66

Classification brackets[edit]

5th–8th place

  Semifinals (September 7[1])     5th place (September 9)
                 
  A3   Brazil 83  
  B4   Puerto Rico 87    
      B4   Puerto Rico 70
      B3   SFR Yugoslavia 86
  B3   SFR Yugoslavia 66    
  A4   Czechoslovakia 63   7th place (September 8)
 
B3   Brazil 87
  A4   Czechoslovakia 69

9th–12th place

  Semifinals (September 5)     9th place (September 9)
                 
  A5   Spain 76  
  B6   Poland 87    
      B6   Poland 83
      A6   Australia 91
  B5   West Germany 69    
  A6   Australia 70   11th place (September 8)
 
A5   Spain 84
  B5   West Germany 83

13th–16th place

  Semifinals (September 5)     13th place (September 7)
                 
  A7   Japan 70  
  B8   Senegal 67    
      A7   Japan 73
      B7   Philippines 82
  B7   Philippines 2    
  A8   Egypt 0[a]   15th place
 
B8   Egypt 0[a]
  A8   Senegal 2
  • a Forfeited match.

Final[edit]

The 1972 Olympic men's basketball final was one of the most controversial in Olympic history. Despite trailing by one point with only three seconds remaining in the contest, the Soviets managed to inbound the ball from their own end line and score the game-winning basket at the final buzzer. Despite the objections of the United States team, various officiating errors led to the Soviet inbounds play being initiated three different times before finally resulting in the winning basket. The Americans protested the outcome, but the result stood and marked the first ever loss for Team USA since the sport began Olympic play in 1936.


September 9
23:30
Soviet Union  51–50  United States
Scoring by half: 26–21, 25–29
Pts: Sergey Belov 20
Rebs: Alexander Belov 8
Pts: Tom Henderson, Jim Brewer 9 each
Rebs: Mike Bantom 9

Final standings[edit]

Rank Team Pld W L
1st  Soviet Union 9 9 0
2nd  United States 9 8 1
3rd  Cuba 9 7 2
4th  Italy 9 5 4
5th  SFR Yugoslavia 9 7 2
6th  Puerto Rico 9 6 3
7th  Brazil 9 5 4
8th  Czechoslovakia 9 4 5
9th  Australia 9 5 4
10th  Poland 9 3 6
11th  Spain 9 4 5
12th  West Germany 9 3 6
13th  Philippines 9 3 6
14th  Japan 9 2 7
15th  Senegal 8 0 8
16th  Egypt 8 0 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Forbes Leads U.S. Romp". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Associated Press. September 8, 1972. p. B4. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]