The NF1 final four is back in the programme after a seven-year hibernation. In 2001 when it was last held the format of the competition in NF1 was different.
Turn the clocks back to NF1: 2000-2001
Looking back into the basketball history of NF1, you will discover that sixteen teams took part during the season of 2000-2001.
During that campaign, the 16 teams were geographically split into two groups of eight teams. The sides played each other on the traditional home and away basis. At the end of the first phase (regular season was not a term used in those days) the top two teams from each group qualified for the play-off while the remaining twelve teams were split into two groups of six to participate in a play-down.
The winner of the play-off went up into the LFB while the bottom team from each group of the play-down was relegated.
For those of you looking for more history from NF1, you will be able to find a lot in the archives of the French language web site: Basquetebol.org. They have kindly allowed us to use some of the photos you see on this site.
Final four preview
The winner of this competition will be given the title of the French champions as well as a ticket into the LFB. The first placed club in the regular season plays against fourth placed side while second meets third.
However Armentières have already confirmed that they will not accept promotion to the LFB if they win the NF1 final four. But they still have ambitions to walk away with the French champions trophy.
Nantes-Rezé are already confirmed as newcomers in the LFB as regular season champions in NF1 and meet in the second semi-final match Armentières. As regular season champions Nantes-Rezé won the right to host the competition and will enjoy home advantage. Nantes may have won the regular season championship but if they want to be crowned as Champions of France, they need to win the final four.
The match of interest in terms of promotion to the LFB is the match-up between Basket Landes and Charleville-Mézières. Both sides have not hidden their ambitions for promotion to the LFB.
Basket Landes are only in their second season in NF1 and in that time have only lost three games in their own hall. They also beat Charleville in their four encounters during the last two seasons.
Charleville were one of the favourites for promotion last season (2006-2007) with a roster on paper that would not have looked out of place in the LFB. They were amongst the front runners for most of the season but ran out of steam at the end allowing Reims, Dunkerque and Basket Landes to finish ahead of them.
Basket Landes do not have any recent injury worries and will be able to present their normal line-up for the match. Charleville have already had to adjust with the absence of Floriane Herrscher and Jeanne Senghor due to injuries. Romuald Yernaux, their coach, is also without Clarisse M'Paka whose time at the club is over.
Charleville have probably the most complete bench in NF1. Players - such as Elena Vishnyakova who has already helped two clubs from NF1 move into the LFB (Racing Strasbourg and Mourenx) - will be ready for the most important game of the season.
If live play-by-play action becomes available for the games the links will be added below to the following matches: