Team USA officially clinched a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Olympic men’s basketball tournament on Saturday when it defeated the Czech Republic 119-84. A quarterfinal berth had largely been a foregone conclusion after the United States crushed Iran, but the team’s victory officially sealed its advancement.
On Sunday, the team’s quarterfinal opponent was revealed. And for the United States, it won’t be an easy matchup.
Team USA is set to face off against Spain in the quarterfinal. Historically, Team USA has done very well against Spain, compiling a 16-2 record and 12-0 record during the Olympics. However, the two sides have played tightly-contested battles of late.
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 win during the 2016 Summer Games.
En route to Tokyo, Team USA has been far from sharp. The squad posted a 1-3 record over a four-game stretch at one point, and that included a loss to France in the Olympic opener. The United States has talent, but they’ll need to come together if they want a chance to earn a medal in 2021.
Here’s a look at the Olympic basketball bracket and who Team USA could be facing as they look to win the gold for a fourth consecutive Olympics.
Olympic basketball bracket
- France vs. Italy
- Slovenia vs. Germany
- United States vs. Spain
- Australia vs. Argentina
Team USA seemingly ended up on the better side of the bracket. While Spain could prove to be a tough test for them, the team will avoid playing either France or Luka Doncic-led Slovenia until a potential gold medal game.
If the United States can survive against Spain, they should have a chance to knock off the winner of the Australia vs. Argentina game. However, it should be noted that Australia beat the U.S. in exhibition play on July 12. The 91-83 Australia win where Patty Mills and Joe Ingles combined for 39 points and the team made 41.7 of its 3-point shots. With better perimeter defense, Team USA should have the upper hand on Australia.
Team USA also played Argentina in a recent exhibition. That went 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 — rack up double-figure points. So long as they can limit Facundo Campazzo and Luis Scola, Team USA would have an advantage over Argentina.
But before they can think about Argentine or Australia, the United States has to get through Spain.
Spain basketball roster
Spain has a lot of NBA-caliber talent on its roster. Four players currently on the team are in the NBA, including Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol, Willy Hernangomez and 2021 first-round draft pick Usman Garuba.
Additionally, several other players on the team have either been drafted or have had productive NBA careers. That includes Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Alex Abrines, Sergio Llull, Sergio Rodriguez and Victor Claver.
Spain’s Olympic results
So far during the Olympics, Spain has posted a 2-1 record. The team’s most difficult game came against Slovenia and Luka Doncic. Spain was in the game late, but Ricky Rubio was unable to hit a potential game-tying 3-point shot for the Spaniards.
Because of its loss to Slovenia, Spain finished second in Group C. Despite its 2-1 record, the team was forced into the less favorable of the two selection pots, which is why they ended up facing the United States in the first round of the bracket.
Team USA vs. Spain Olympics basketball results
Here is a full list of results from the USA vs. Spain Olympic history. Team USA has a 12-0 record against Spain in the Olympics — including 3-0 in gold-medal games — but the series has become more tightly contested in recent seasons.
|1936||First round||USA wins 2-0 after Spain forfeits|
|1968||First round||USA wins 81-46|
|1972||First round||USA wins 72-56|
|1984||First round||USA wins 101-68|
|1984||Gold medal game||USA wins 96-65|
|1988||First round||USA wins 97-53|
|1992||First round||USA wins 122-81|
|2004||Quarterfinals||USA wins 102-94|
|2008||First round||USA wins 119-82|
|2008||Gold medal game||USA wins 118-107|
|2012||Gold medal game||USA wins 107-100|
|2016||Semifinals||USA wins 82-76|