The Euroleague playoffs bracket is full of classic confrontations after the final standings. The four best-of-five series going forward were decided on Wednesday with the final result of the regular season.
The playoffs start on Tuesday, April 19, and will last until Wednesday, May 4, if any of the series go the five-game distance.
Top-seeded FC Barcelona, the regular-season champion with a 21-7 record, was already matched up with eighth-placed FC Bayern Munich (14-14) in a series that will mirror their elite soccer rivalry.
Second-placed Olympiacos Piraeus (19-9) will have the home-court advantage against newcomer AS Monaco, who finished seventh at 15-13. The Reds will be trying to honor the 25th anniversary of the first of their three EuroLeague titles back in 1997 by reaching the Final Four again.
Wednesday’s final results, in which Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv defeated already-eliminated Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul in rescheduled Round 23 game, determined the other two playoff matchups.
Third-placed AX Armani Exchange Milan (19-9) will face off with home-court advantage against defending champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul, which finished sixth at 16-12. This will be their first best-of-five series ever against each other, although Efes won its first European trophy, the 1996 Korac Cup, by a single point after a two-game series against Milan.
Fourth-placed Real Madrid (19-9), the most-crowned club in continental history, will revive its historic rivalry with fifth-placed Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (17-11), which stretches back 54 years. Each has won a EuroLeague championship game against the other, while Real swept their only previous playoff series, 3-0, in 2013.