Team USA and Spain will meet in the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics when the knockout rounds begin Tuesday in Saitama, Japan.
The Americans have beaten Spain in the last three Olympics — in the 2016 semifinals and in the finals in 2012 and 2008 — and are 16-2 against them in Olympic and World Cup play overall.
Spain fell out of the seeded pool with a 95-87 loss to Slovenia in the Group C finale. The U.S. lost its opener against eventual Group A winner France. Both teams finished second in their groups.
The U.S. and Spain are Nos. 1 and 2 respectively in the world rankings.
“If you’re going to get that gold medal, you’re going to beat everybody,” said Spain’s Marc Gasol of the unusually early matchup between the countries. “At that point, it doesn’t matter, the order.”
The other quarterfinal clashes are France vs. Italy, Australia vs. Argentina, and Slovenia vs. Germany.
Teams that lose in the quarterfinals are out of the tournament. The four winners will move on to the semifinals, with the winners of those playing for gold and silver and the losers facing off for bronze.
The gold medal game is Friday, with the bronze medal game the following day.
–Field Level Media