The suspense does not end when the qualifiers are known, particularly not in Group A of the 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season.
For the only group in which all four teams have advanced to the Top 16, Round 9 may -- or may not -- begin to sort out exactly which positions in the standings each will advance from, which of course conditions the level of competition they will see in the next phase.
This is as tight a group as any, with one victory separating first and fourth place. As such, all teams are implicated in the Round 9 head-to-head battle for exclusive hold on first place between Segafredo Virtus Bologna and visiting Promitheas Patras, both with 6-2 records.
Taking over first place and winning the group, however, are two very different things. That's because, in order to clinch first place, the winner between Virtus and Promitheas needs at least one of the third- and fourth-place teams, MoraBanc Andorra and AS Monaco, both with 5-3 records, to lose to eliminated bottom-dwellers Maccabi Rishon LeZion (1-7) and ratiopharm Ulm (1-7), respectively.
Unless all of that happens, the battle to determine all four places in Group A will go down to the last round of the regular season.
ratiopharm Ulm vs. AS Monaco, December 11
MoraBanc Andorra vs. Maccabi Rishon LeZion, December 11
Segafredo Virtus Bologna vs. Promitheas Patras, December 11
Virtus (6-2) clinches first place if it beats Promitheas (6-2) by 10 or more points in regulation time AND Monaco (5-3) loses against Ulm (1-7)
Promitheas (6-2) clinches first place with a victory over Virtus (6-2) AND Andorra (5-3) loses to Rishon (1-7) AND Monaco (5-3) loses to Ulm (1-7)