USA men’s basketball to play Argentina in quarterfinals

(Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)

The United States’ men’s national basketball team will play Argentina on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. The two sides will play at 5:45 p.m. ET in Rio. USA won all five of their preliminary matches, as the Argentines won only three out of their five games.

Though Team USA won all of its preliminary games (China, Venezuela, Australia, Serbia and France), though their last three wins were by ten points or less. The two countries are quite familiar, as they also played each other before the Olympics.

Argentina has five players over the age of 30 with U.S.A. only having two players over the age of 30. All but one of the five Argentines that are over the age of 30 played on the country’s gold-winning team back at the 2004 Athens Games, which had the Americans only win the bronze with players like Tim Duncan on the team. One of the Americans’ oldest players, Carmelo Anthony, has been one of the most reliant forces on the team.

Mike Krzyzewski’s squad has been heavily reliant on the three-point shot throughout the games, though their defense has been sized down, despite having DeAndre Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins. Point guard Fecund Campazzo, who sports an average of 16.4 points and 5.2 assists at the games, could give the American side some fits, especially after his 33-point performance in the country’s double-overtime win over host nation Brazil.

Argentina opened up the games with a 94–66 victory over Nigeria, followed up with a 90–82 win over Croatia, before falling to Lithuania in an 81–73 defeat. The Argentines won a double-overtime thriller over Brazil, then lost by 19 points to Spain, which put them in a quarterfinal game against the Americans.

U.S.A. opened up their 2016 Rio Games with a 119–62 demolition of China, followed by a 113–69 win over Venezuela. However, the next three games would be tough ones for a heavily-favored American side, as they trailed for a good amount of their battle with Australia, ultimately pulling out a 98–88 win. The next two games against Serbia and France were only won by three points.

Do Manu Ginobili and the golden Argentines have a chance at beating the Americans? Yes, but is it likely? Definitely not, so we should expect the Americans to advance to the semifinals to play the winner of the Spain and France matchup.