Elimination play... now we're getting somewhere!
Team America rolled through the group stage pretty much as easily as expected. Now they're three games away from a gold medal. First up in the knockout round (at 2:15 California time) is Australia, winners of their last three games after losing their first two. It's wildly unlikely the Aussies will give USA a tight game, but the win-or-go-home stakes lend the proceedings a little edge. If you're wondering whether you'll recognize any of the Australian players, the answer is no unless you've committed Patty Mills's appearance to memory. (Mills scored 39 in a victory over Great Britain last week.)
Like many many countries, Australia has never lost to the United States in hoops. Six losses in six tries with an average margin of defeat of more than 26. In Beijing, Team USA beat them by 31. They finished 7th in that tournament and 10th in the 2010 FIBAs.