Team USA takes on Australia this evening at 5:15 PM (ET) in the first round of the 2012 Olympic basketball quarterfinals.
The U.S. won Group A, finishing the preliminary stage with a perfect 5-0 record after defeating Argentina 126-97 on Monday. Australia finished with the second seed in Group B, and are on a three-game winning streak after pulling out a dramatic 82-80 victory over Russia earlier Monday.
The team from down under dropped its first two matchups against Brazil and Spain, but rebounded to beat China, Great Britain and the top-seed Russians. San Antonio Spurs reserve guard Patrick Mills hit a 3-pointer with his team trailing by one point in the final seconds to edge out the undefeated Russians and win the game 82-80 for Australia. Mills scored 13 points in the preliminary finale and is Australia’s leading scorer at the Olympics, averaging 20.2 points per game. He poured in 39 points in the victory over Great Britain, the highest amount by any player thus far in London.
The USA is 6-0 all-time against Australia at the Olympics, including a 3-0 mark in games outside of the preliminary round. For the second straight Games, the U.S. is facing the Aussies in the quarterfinals. The Americans won 116-85 in 2008 to advance to the semifinals. The U.S. defeated Australia 101-73 in the semifinals in Atlanta in 1996, and topped the Aussies 78-49 in the bronze medal game in 1988. The U.S. has also beaten Australia in pool play in 2004, 1972 and 1964.
With a victory over Australia, the U.S. will next play in the semifinals on Friday. The Americans would play the winner of the Brazil vs. Argentina quarterfinal. The U.S. defeated both teams in its exhibtion tour prior to the Olympics, and topped Argentina 126-97 in the final game of pool play. A quarterfinals loss would eliminate the U.S. from competition.
In their Olympic quarterfinals play history, the U.S. has an all-time record of 15-0 with an average margin of 29.5 points.
Information from the official U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball media guide was used in this article.