Team USA continued their undefeated streak at the 2019 FIBA World Cup with a commanding 89-73 win over Brazil on Monday. Their latest win not only advanced them to the quarterfinals in China, but it earned them a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Because Team USA finished as one of the top-two teams from the Americas, they have automatically qualified for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Argentina also clinched an Olympic berth after Brazil lost.
Considering the general lack of enthusiasm for international basketball this year from both the players and fans, it might be hard to get too excited about Tokyo, but the Olympics have historically attracted bigger names than the FIBA World Cup. In other words, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of the names that withdrew from this year’s roster stay and compete this time next year.
Before that, though, Team USA will look to bring home a different gold medal. Following their win on Monday, Team USA will move onto to the quarterfinals to take on France, a team that features four NBA players including Evan Fournier and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert.
Assuming they get past France, they will have to take on one of Argentina or Serbia to punch their ticket to the championship game. Serbia may have taken a step back with a loss to Spain on Sunday, but they’re still considered the biggest threat to Team USA. Spain and Australia have also looked strong throughout the tournament, and the Boomers obviously have already beaten the Americans once this summer.
Team USA had an early near-stumble in the overtime escape against Turkey but have since hit their stride. Now it’s time to see if they can prove their doubters wrong and go win the World Cup despite being without most of their top stars.