Olympics: Men’s basketball quarter-final predictions

Eight teams have cleared the first hurdle in the men’s basketball competition at the Olympics, but with all of them chasing gold, which teams will make it out of the quarter-finals and which countries will fall?

All four men’s quarter-final matches will be held on Wednesday and a number of them have potential to be absolute thrillers.

Team USA vs Argentina

Team USA celebrate

No doubt all eyes will still be on Team USA, who have maintained an unbeaten record so far and are favourites to win the gold medal.

Team USA hammered Argentina 111-74 when they met for an exhibition game in Las Vegas in July. Things could be different this time around though as Argentina do know what it takes to beat a superstar-filled USA squad as they accomplished the feat in the semi-finals of the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Add to the fact that Team USA have been involved in three consecutive close games against Australia, Serbia and France, and Argentina might belief that another upset is on the cards.

Prediction: While Argentina do have a few notable players in their line-up, such as Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola, Team USA should cruise to an easy victory.

Spain vs France

Spain huddle

This game is the most evenly matched quarter-final fixture as both teams finished second in their respective groups.

Spain and France finished with the same record in the group stage as they won three games and lost two.

This makes for an even more intriguing contest as both teams will consider their campaigns to be a failure should they fail to get past the quarter-finals.

Prediction: Spain have a more all-rounded squad and should see off France.

Australia vs Lithuania

Australia basketball team

Australia have been highly impressive in the Olympics thus far as they finished with a 4-1 record in the group stage, with their only loss coming against Team USA.

Having registered wins over teams like France and Serbia, it is safe to say that Australia won’t go down without a fight. However, beating Lithuania won’t be an easy feat even though they finished with a 3-2 record in the group stage.

Lithuania boast a line-up of talented players and while not many of them ply their trade in the NBA, there is no doubt that they are still capable of giving Australia a run for their money.

Prediction: Australia may have just enough in the tank to skirt past the mighty Lithuanians.

Serbia vs Croatia

Serbia celebrate

This all-European affair is also likely to be a highly interesting contest even though Croatia topped Group B with a 3-2 record, while Serbia scraped through with a 2-3 record in Group A.

While their records suggest that Croatia have the upper hand, it should be noted that Serbia have emerged victorious on five out of the seven occasions these two teams have met.

With that having been said, it will all come down to which team plays better and shows more heart on Wednesday.

Prediction: Serbia only lost to Team USA by three points and could back themselves to topple Croatia.

Bimal Mirwani