The drawing for the Men's Basketball Quarter-Finals matchups at the Tokyo Olympics are behind us.
With eight countries remaining in the pursuit of a Gold medal, who received the most favourable draw in the Knockout Stage bracket?
Below we have you covered with the bracket, along with game times and previews for each Quarter-Finals matchup.
The stage is set for the Men's #Olympics basketball Quarter-Finals! ✅- FIBA #Tokyo2020 (@FIBA) August 1, 2021
Who you got? 🤔#FRA ⚔️ #ITA#SLO ⚔️ #GER#USA ⚔️ #ESP#AUS ⚔️ #ARG#Basketball | #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/RPZuqfMKnA
All times are Eastern.
Men's Basketball at Tokyo Olympics: Quarter-Finals previews
France vs. Italy
Game time: Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 4:20 a.m. ET
France record: 3-0 (Group A winner)
Italy record: 2-1 (Group B runner-up)
France was the one Group Winner that did not draw a Wild Card matchup, instead facing off against the Group B runner-up in Italy. France has been the best defensive team at the Olympics, averaging less that 72 points against per game, a product of two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert manning the middle with no defensive three seconds in the key rule in FIBA play.
If the French are going to keep their undefeated record going in pursuit of their first Gold medal in Olympics history, it will start by slowing down a top-10 scorer in Simone Fontecchino (18.0 ppg in Group Stage) and Golden State Warriors' second-round pick Nico Mannion (15.0 ppg). Scoring forward Danilo Gallinari started the tournament strong with 18 points against Germany in the first contest, but has since cooled off mightily, failing to score more than five points in the final two games. With that being said, he could be due for a breakout game.
For France, Boston Celtics' guard Evan Fournier has been doing the majority of the damage offensively, averaging 17.3 points per game, good for ninth-best in the tournament. While defence has been the country's calling-card, Fournier's prolific scoring has rounded out France as the terrorizing threat they've been at the Olympics.
The winner of this contest will face the winner of Slovenia vs. Germany.
Slovenia vs. Germany
Game time: Monday, Aug. 2 at 9 p.m. ET
Slovenia record: 3-0 (Group C winner)
Germany record: 1-2 (Wild Card 2)
Two countries that needed to win their respective FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to even reach the Tokyo Games will now face off with the opportunity to take one step closer toward a medal.
Behind the remarkable play of superstar Luka Doncic, Slovenia finished the Group Stage with a perfect 3-0 record in the country's first-ever appearance on the Olympic stage. Doncic was the tournament's leading scorer through Group play, averaging 28.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game while shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from 3-point range. With the speed of FIBA games and two fewer minutes per quarter compared to the NBA, it cannot be undersold how ridiculous the 22-year-old's averages are at his first Olympics.
Doncic has yet to lose at a major tournament while donning his country's name - a perfect 16-0. Will that change against the Germans?
Germany has been a team effort through-and-through to this point. Starting guard Maodo Lo has the country's wheels turning, averaging a team-high 14.3 points and 6.0 assists per game, but he is also averaging 6.0 turnovers per game. Center Johannes Voigtmann led the charge in their sole win over Nigeria, going for 19 points and seven boards, while it was Orlando Magic's Mo Wagner whose stellar play got his country to the Olympics in the first place.
But it all comes down to this simple question: can Germany contain Doncic?
The winner of this game will play the winner of France vs. Italy.
United States vs. Spain
Game time: Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 12:40 a.m. ET
United States record: 2-1 (Group A runner-up)
Spain record: 2-1 (Group C runner-up)
The United States got out to a slow start with a loss to France, but bounced back in a big way with a 54-point win over Iran and a 35-point win over Czech Republic.
While superstar forward Kevin Durant was relatively quiet in the first two games, the unstoppable scorer finally broke through against the Czechs with an efficient 23-point performance, surpassing Carmelo Anthony as Team USA's all-time leading scorer along the way. We saw a huge 21-point game from Damian Lillard against Iran, followed by a monster 27-point performance by Jayson Tatum against the Czechs. With three different leading scorers in all three games, that just goes to show how many ways the United States can beat you.
There's a lot of pressure on Team USA to keep their streak of four-straight Olympic Gold medals alive, and it will start by having to take down the reigning FIBA World Cup Champions in Spain.
Led by Ricky Rubio, the 2019 FIBA World Cup Most Outstanding Player, Spain only suffered one loss in the Group Stage to Doncic and Slovenia. Rubio has been incredible at these Olympics, averaging 21.3 points, 7.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. The United States will need Jrue Holiday to put the clamps on Rubio, while the frontcourt will have its hands full with the Spaniard tandem of brothers in Marc and Pau Gasol.
Spain is still in pursuit of their first-ever Gold medal and they'll have to earn it the hard way, taking down powerhouse USA in the Quarter-Finals.
The winner of this game will face the winner of Australia vs. Argentina.
Australia vs. Argentina
Game time: Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 8 a.m. ET
Australia record: 3-0 (Group B winner)
Argentina record: 1-2 (Wild Card 1)
Australia rolled through the Group Stage, looking like a heat-seeking missile toward the country's first-ever medal finish at the Olympics.
Patty Mills has been as great as advertised, leading the Boomers with averages of 21.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. He scored over 20 points in two of the three Group Stage games, channeling his well-known "FIBA Patty" alter-ego. But Australia's success goes well beyond their star point guard. Their depth is what separates them from the rest of the pack, with different players stepping up every game to make an impact.
Jock Landale has ramped things up a notch over the last few games, averaging 18.0 points and 5.0 rebounds over the final two Group Stage games. Joe Ingles' 3-point shooting and playmaking has played a huge role. The defence of Matisse Thybulle and Matthew Dellavedova has been suffocating, while Dante Exum has shown flashes of the player that once was a top-five pick in the NBA Draft. Even without Aron Baynes, who suffered an off-court neck injury, the Boomers are still one of the deepest teams in the tournament.
But their first-round matchup against the 2019 FIBA World Cup runner-ups won't be easy, despite their struggles in the Group Stage. Luis Scola continues to turn back the clock, averaging 19.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Facundo Campazzo has looked like his dominant self on the Olympic stage, averaging 16.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, including an impressive 25-point, 11-assist double-double in a win over Japan.
Argentina is looking for their first medal finish since taking home Bronze in 2008, but they'll have to defeat the hottest team in the Olympics to do so first.
The winner of this game will face the winner of United States vs. Spain.
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