Team USA officially secured a place in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Olympic men’s basketball tournament on Saturday when they defeated the Czech Republic 119-84. A berth in the quarterfinals had largely been a foregone conclusion after the United States crushed Iran, but the team’s victory officially sealed their advance.
On Sunday, the team’s quarterfinal opponent was revealed. And for the United States, it will not be an easy match.
The United States team will face Spain in the quarterfinals. Historically, Team USA have done very well against Spain, compiling a 16-2 record and a 12-0 record during the Olympics. However, the two sides have been playing close battles lately.
In the last three Olympic meetings between the two teams, Team USA has won by an average of eight points per game. That includes a six-point victory during the 2016 Summer Games.
En route to Tokyo, Team USA has been far from sharp. The team posted a 1-3 record over a stretch of four games at one point, and that included a loss to France in the first Olympic match. The United States is talented, but they will have to come together if they want a chance to win a medal in 2021.
Here’s a look at the Olympic basketball draw and who Team USA could face as they seek to win gold for the fourth time in a row.
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Olympic Basketball Bracket
- France vs. Italy
- Slovenia vs. Germany
- United States vs. Spain
- Australia vs. Argentina
Team USA apparently finished on the better side of the table. While Spain could prove a difficult test for them, the team will avoid playing France or Luka Doncic-led Slovenia until a possible gold medal game.
If the United States can survive against Spain, it should have a chance to defeat the winner of the Australia vs Argentina game. However, it should be noted that Australia beat the USA in the exhibition game on July 12. Australia’s 91-83 win where Patty Mills and Joe Ingles combined for 39 points and the team hit 41.7 of their 3-point shots. With better perimeter defense, Team USA should have the upper hand over Australia.
The United States team also played Argentina in a recent exhibition. That was much smoother for Team USA, as they won 108-80 and saw each of their five starters – Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine and Bam Adebayo – racking up double-digit points. As long as they can limit Facundo Campazzo and Luis Scola, the United States team would have an advantage over Argentina.
But before they can think of Argentina or Australia, the United States has to go through Spain.
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Spain basketball squad
Spain has a lot of NBA-caliber talent on their roster. Four players currently on the team are in the NBA, including Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol, Willy Hernangomez and 2021 first-round pick Usman Garuba.
Additionally, several other players on the team have been drafted or have had productive NBA careers. That includes Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Alex Abrines, Sergio Llull, Sergio Rodriguez and Victor Claver.
|Xabi López-Arostegui||Go ahead||–|
|Victor Claver||Go ahead||–|
|Alberto abalde||Go ahead||–|
|Rudy fernandez||Go ahead||–|
|Alex Abrines||Go ahead||–|
Olympic results of Spain
So far in the Olympics, Spain has posted a 2-1 record. The team’s most difficult match was against Slovenia and Luka Doncic. Spain was late to the game, but Ricky Rubio failed to score a triple triple that tied the game for the Spanish.
Due to their loss to Slovenia, Spain finished second in Group C. Despite their 2-1 record, the team was forced to pass the least favorable of the two national team foci, thus ending up facing the United States in the first round of the bracket.
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Basketball results of the United States Olympic Games vs. Spain
Here is a complete list of results from the United States’ Olympic history against Spain. Team USA has a 12-0 record against Spain in the Olympics, including 3-0 in gold medal games, but the series has gotten tighter in recent seasons.
|1936||First round||USA win 2-0 after defeat of Spain|
|1968||First round||USA win 81-46|
|1972||First round||USA win 72-56|
|1984||First round||USA win 101-68|
|1984||Gold medal game||USA win 96-65|
|1988||First round||USA win 97-53|
|1992||First round||USA wins 122-81|
|2004||Quarter finals||USA win 102-94|
|2008||First round||USA wins 119-82|
|2008||Gold medal game||USA wins 118-107|
|2012||Gold medal game||United States wins 107-100|
|2016||Semifinals||USA win 82-76|
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.