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Men's Basketball Semifinals: Slovenia looking to continue its remarkable run

Men's Basketball Semifinals: Slovenia looking to continue its remarkable run
Posted at 9:34 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 02:15:44-04

The stage is set for the homestretch in the Olympic men's basketball tournament. Four teams remain, and Thursday will reveal the teams headed to the gold medal final.

The men's basketball semifinals begin early Thursday morning at 12:15 a.m. ET with United States taking on Australia. The second semifinal contest will kick off at 7 a.m. ET between Slovenia and France.

UNITED STATES VS. AUSTRALIA

Spain appeared to be giving the United States all it could handle early in their quarterfinal contest Tuesday morning. Still, the U.S. proved to be too much for Spain as the game went on. Kevin Durant helped carry his squad past the dangerous, veteran Spanish team, and now USA's men will look to follow the U.S. women's lead and knock out Australia.

The Australians are coming off a big win of their own, though their contest was never much of a nail-biter. They annihilated Argentina by a score of 97-59 Tuesday morning, and while Argentina's squad was never considered a favorite to compete for gold, the victory was still eyebrow-raising as they prepare to face off against arguably the best team in the competition.

Still, Australia will have its hands full against Team USA. Despite USA's inconsistencies throughout the competition, they are by far the most talented team in Tokyo. For Australia to advance to the gold medal game, they will need to have a near perfect performance Thursday morning.

FRANCE VS. SLOVENIA

Slovenia has been the talk of the men's basketball competition in Tokyo. Led by NBA superstar Luka Doncic, the Slovenians have gone from the new kids on the block to becoming one of the very best teams competing in the Olympics.

Doncic hasn't been Slovenia's only story, though. Several other players, including Mike Tobey and Zoran Dragic, have been integral to the Slovenians' success during their Olympic basketball debut.

Beating the French will be no easy feat, though, and Rudy GobertNicolas Batum and company will serve as Slovenia's biggest test yet. Coming off a hard-fought victory over Italy on Tuesday, France will need to replicate its strong defensive performance against the Italians and focus on shutting down Doncic in order to limit Slovenia's opportunities. By doing that, they'll be in solid position to advance to the title game.