Apr 30, 2012, 11:50 AM EDT
We all expect that it will come down to the USA vs. Spain for the gold medal at the London Olympics this summer.
But Team USA is going to get a few tests on the way. FIBA conducted the draw for group play in the Olympics and the United States certainly ended up in the tougher group
Group A: Argentina, France, Tunisia, USA, Qualifier Tournament one, Qualifier Tournament two
Group B: Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Spain, Qualifier Tournament three
The USA will have to play Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola’s Argentinian team that will be a test, as will Tony Parker led France. Both those squads have NBA and high level European league players and have played together for years. Lose to one of them in pool play and the USA could wind up on Spain’s side of the single-elimination tournament that follows pool play.
If you just asked what qualifier tournament means, it is teams that just missed out in regional qualifying tournaments last summer that will go to a second chance tournament before the Olympics this year. There are some good teams in that tournament such as Russia, Puerto Rico, Lithuania and Greece.
This is just another challenge for Team USA, but first they have to figure out who is on the roster.