Eight-time continental champion Real Madrid makes its third consecutive Final Four appearance and fourth in the last five years, but for the first time since 1967 gets to play in the Final Four at home.
After finishing as the Turkish Airlines Euroleague runner-up in each of the last two seasons, Madrid hopes to take that final step behind one of the most dynamic offenses ever featured on Euroleague courts. If successful, Madrid would win its first title since 1996 and add to the club's legacy as the most successful team in competition history.
No team has ever averaged more assists in one Euroleague campaign than Madrid this season. Los Blancos set a single-game Euroleague record with 33 assists, and then went and matched it the very next week! That led the team to shatter its own Euroleague record for assist-to-turnover ratio. This season, Madrid also made the most steals, averaged the fewest turnovers, ranked second in points and performance index rating, and broke the single-game Top 16 record for three-point shots made, 18, despite playing that game on the road.
Madrid either shared or owned first place exclusively in both its regular season and Top 16 groups during every single week of the season. It finished first in that regular season group ahead of Anadolu Efes Istanbul, and then took control in the Top 16 from the get-go, winning nine of the first 10 games. Madrid locked up first place and home-court advantage in the playoffs with a pair of home victories late in the Top 16. In the playoffs, Madrid clashed again with Efes and had to battle back from big deficits all series long. K.C. Rivers and Gustavo Ayon led a Madrid rally from 11 points down for 80-71 victory in Game 1. Sergio Llull had 18 points and 12 assists in Game 2 as Madrid erased a 17-point deficit to win 90-85. In Game 3, on the road in Istanbul, Jaycee Carroll tried to force overtime on a game-tying three-pointer with 7 seconds left, only to see Efes win it on the buzzer, 75-72. In Game 4, facing a six-point halftime deficit, Felipe Reyes sparked a third-quarter surge that Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez finished down the stretch for a no-doubt-about-it 63-76 victory that sent Madrid rolling home to the Final Four.
By losing just one game at home and no two in a row the entire season, Madrid dominated from opening night forward to assure itself of becoming the first Final Four home team in eight years. Now, Los Blancos count on having their fans by their side to help break an two-decade drought by raising the Euroleague trophy.
REGULAR SEASON ROUNDS 4-5: ASSISTS RECORDS
Real Madrid dished 33 assists in a 112-83 home win against Nizhny Novgorod, an all-time Euroleague record. A week later, Madrid downed Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari 115-94 and did it again, 33 assists!
TOP 16 ROUND 6: ONE-SIDED CLASICO
Real Madrid thrashed archrivals FC Barcelona 97-73, the second-biggest margin this century in the Euroleague version of their rivalry. Rudy Fernandez shined with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, earning Top 16 Round 6 MVP honors with an index rating of 38.
TOP 16 ROUND 4: FIRST IN THE TOP 16
Felipe Reyes had 17 points while Sergio Rodriguez and Jaycee Carroll each added 16 as Real Madrid downed Zalgiris Kaunas 99-83 and clinched first place in its Top 16 group.
PLAYOFFS GAME 2: REYES STEPS UP
Down 75-82 with under 3 minutes left, Madrid used an 11-0 run highlighted by a go-ahead three-pointer from Felipe Reyes to overtake Anadolu Efes Istanbul 90-85 behind 18 points from Sergio Llull.
PLAYOFFS GAME 4: TO THE FINAL FOUR!
Real Madrid made it to its third consecutive Final Four by downing Anadolu Efes 63-76 in Istanbul, avoiding a fifth game, as Rudy Fernandez shined with 17 points and Sergio Llull added 14.