The last time Real Madrid made a Euroleague Final Four, Maccabi stomped on them 82-63 in Barcelona to advance to the 2011 Finals. Two years later, Real Madrid is the first Euroleague team to ensure their place in the Euroleague’s final weekend. This year it will be in London. The team Madrid swept to get there?
Maccabi Tel-Aviv demolished Besiktas Istanbul 101-58 en route to its sixth consecutive win in the Euroleague Top 16 round. In a contest that was over almost as soon as it began, Maccabi was able to all but solidify a position in the Euroleague quarterfinals despite dropping five out of its first seven top 16 matches.
If Anadolu Efes is supposed to have merit as a contender, they sure aren’t supposed to let a team with ten losses take them to overtime in their own building. But for a second straight week, Jordan Farmar scored 20-something and Istanbul’s darlings resisted the urge to tumble into their old ways, closing it out against Bamberg 89-86.
Andrei Kirilenko and Nenad Krstic descended upon Moscow last October to steal the headlines and recede the hairlines, and CSKA made it all the way to the Euroleague finals. Afterwards, Krstic stayed put, but it’s Viktor Khryapa’s sensational year that’s rendered AK47′s presence in Minneapolis a non-factor in the Russian capital.