We’re getting closer to the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on July 27 and the USA women’s and men’s basketball squads already know who will be in their respective groups when the basketball competition starts
For the four time defending gold medalist USA women, who are seeking their fifth consecutive gold medal in these games they will be in Group A that consists of Angola, China and three of the qualifiers from the FIBA women’s tournament that will be conducted in Turkey June 25-July 1.
Group B on the women’s side is shaping up to be the ‘Group of Death’ with Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Russia, and the two remaining FIBA Olympic tournament qualifiers.
The Canadians are still alive for an Olympic women’s berth.but will have to play in the Qlympic qualifying tournament in Ankara to get it. They are in Group D with France and Mali and will either have to finish first or second in the group to advance to a matchup with whoever comes out of Group C between Croatia, Korea and Mozambique.
For the FIBA world champion USA men, they will be seeking back to back Olympic gold in this tournament but will be missing Derrick Rose who just tore his ACL in the NBA playoffs and Dwight Howard who had back surgery and is out. They are in Group A and will face Manu Ginobili and the Argentines, Tony Parker and France, Tunisia playing in their first ever Olympics, and two qualifiers from the FIBA Men’s Olympic qualifying tournament to be conducted in Venezuela
Group B on the men’s side will consist of Australia, Brazil, China, the host Great Britain, Spain an the third FIBA qualifier
The Men’s Olympic qualifying tournament will be conducted in Caracas, Venezuela July 2-8. In addition to the host Venezuelans will have perennial African champs Angola, who were shockingly upset in the Afrobasket tournament final by Tunisia.
Nigeria, Russia, Lithuania, Greece, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Macedonia, Jordan, New Zealand and Korea round out the list of nations battling for the last three London Olympic basketball tournament spots
In both the women’s and men’s Olympic tourneys, top four teams in each group advance, then the four remaining teams play knockout games with the Group A winner facing off against the fourth place team in Group B, the Group A Runner up playing the third place team in Group B and the Group A third and fourth place teams squaring off in knockout games against the Group B winner and runner up.
Winners keep playing until they get to the gold and bronze medal matches.
The Olympic basketball competition will last until August 12, and I’m so looking forward to it.