|“||The three major high school basketball tournaments. The summer Interhigh, the autumn National Sports Meet, and the Winter Cup. Until recently, the greatest of these was the summer title. However, the scale of the winter tournament has grown every year. Now its title is on par with, or perhaps even greater than, the summer tournament’s. It is the Winter Cup.||”|
The Winter Cup (ウインターカップ Uintaa Kappu), the National High School Basketball Championship Tournament, is a tournament that takes place during the winter and is held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. It is a tournament for high school basketball teams. Before the actual Winter Cup, preliminaries are held in each prefecture. Only 2 teams can represent a prefecture. Only the top 8 teams from the Interhigh can participate in the Winter Cup preliminaries.
This year, because of a memorial anniversary, there are more schools participating than normal. Also, the winner and runner-up of the Interhigh (Rakuzan High and Tōō Academy) enter the tournament automatically.
The Winter Cup preliminaries begin November 7. At the preliminaries, there is a "best of four" determination match and the winning teams advance to the final league. Those four teams compete in three league matches and the top two teams get a ticket for the actual Winter Cup.
The Winter Cup itself is in classic tournament structure, a single-elimination tournament, also known as sudden death. It begins with 3 basic rounds, the quarter- and semi-finals and eventually the finals.
- Main article: Winter Cup/Teams competing
- Main article: Winter Cup/Tournament
- Kuroko no Basuke chapter 81, page 16