Olympic Schedule Highlights for Wednesday: Team USA vs. Australia Quarterfinal

By Jim Donahue

As expected, the United States men’s basketball team was the only team to go unbeaten through pool play at 5-0. Now the knockout round starts in London on Wednesday as the Americans face an Australian team they should be able to handle – tip is set for 5:15 p.m. ET.

On Monday, the Americans routed a good Argentina club 126-97. Kevin Durant scored 17 of his 28 points during the Americans’ 42-point third quarter, turning a one-point game into a blowout. The NBA scoring champion matched the Argentines’ point total in the period, going 5-of-6 from 3-point range, the last one from well beyond 25 feet. He finished 8 of 10 from 3-point range, where the U.S. team was 20 of 39.

Two nights after surviving their first real test in a 99-94 victory over Lithuania, the Americans seemed headed for another tight finish. Argentina shot 56 percent in the first half and the U.S. led just 60-59.
Australia has just one current NBA player on its roster: Spurs backup guard Patty Mills, the former St. Mary’s star. The Aussies were 3-2 in group play, losing a close game to Brazil and hanging with Spain before falling by 12. Australia closed out group play with an 82-80 win over Russia on Monday.

Aging Argentina will get one more chance to beat the Americans and duplicate its 2004 win in the Athens semifinals — Team USA’s last Olympic defeat — if it can get past hated Brazil in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Team USA would probably prefer to see the Argentines one more time, because Brazil is stocked with the sort of the NBA-proven size (Nene Hilario, Anderson Varejao and Tiago Splitter) that Team USA lacks beyond the foul-prone Tyson Chandler.

Meanwhile, the soonest Team USA can see Spain’s proven size now is the gold-medal game, after Brazil beat the struggling Spaniards in the Group B finale that actually did more for the loser, moving Spain into what appears to be the far more favorable bracket: France in the quarterfinals and the Russia-Lithuania winner looming in the semis.

Also, Wednesday there are four track & field golds to be won. In the long jump, Brazil’s Maurren Maggi was one centimeter better than Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva and earned the gold. Since then a new global champion has emerged in American Brittney Reese, who has won gold at the last two World Championships and at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. The U.S. has other medal contenders in Janay Deloach and Chelsea Hayes. They will be opposed by Russia’s Darya Klishina, Great Britain’s Shara Proctor and Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova of Belarus.

In the men’s 100 meter hurdles, Cuba’s Dayron Robles, the world record holder in the event, capped a stellar season with his first Olympic gold medal four years ago. In 2011, he won the race at the World Championships in Daegu but was DQ’d for hooking 2004 Olympic champ Liu Xiang, who is back to being a force after scratching in ’08 due to injury. Americans remain mighty in this event, led by U.S. Trials champion Aries Merritt, who has run the fastest time in the world in 2012 at 12.93. Rounding out the U.S. squad are 2011 world champ Jason Richardson, and Jeff Porter.

Athletics (all times Eastern)

At Olympic Stadium

Men’s 5000 round 1, Pole Vault qualifying, Decathlon: 100, long jump, shot put; Women’s 800 round 1, Hammer qualifying, 5 a.m.

Men’s 110 Hurdles semifinals and final, 200 semifinals, Javelin qualifying, Decathlon: high jump, 400; Women’s 200 final, 400 Hurdles final, 1500 semifinals, Long Jump final, 1 p.m.

Basketball

At North Greenwich Arena

Men

Quarterfinal, 9 a.m.

Quarterfinal, 11:15 a.m.

Quarterfinal, 3 p.m.

Quarterfinal, 5:15 p.m.

Beach Volleyball

At Horse Guards Parade

Women’s bronze and gold medal matches, 2 p.m.

Boxing

At ExCeL

Women’s Flyweight (51kg); Women’s Lightweight (60kg) and
Women’s Middleweight (75kg) semifinals, 8:30 a.m.

Men’s Light Flyweight (49kg); Men’s Light Welterweight (64kg) and
Men’s Light Heavyweight (81kg) quarterfinals, 3:30 p.m.

Canoe (Sprint)

At Eton Dorney, Buckinghamshire

Men’s Canoe Single 1000 final; Men’s Kayak Single 1000 final; Men’s
Kayak Double 1000 final; Women’s Kayak Four 500 final, 4:30 a.m.
Cycling (BMX)

At BMX Olympic Park

Men’s and Women’s seeding phase runs, 10 a.m.

Diving

At Olympic Park-Aquatics Centre

Women’s 10-Meter Platform Prelims, 2 p.m.

Equestrian (Jumping)

At Greenwich Park

Individual Jumping: final rounds, (medal), 7 a.m.

Field Hockey

Women

At Olympic Park-Hockey Centre

Classification (9th-10th places), 3:30 a.m.

Classification (7th-8th places), 6:30 a.m.

Semifinal, 10:30 a.m.

Semifinal, 3 p.m.

Sailing

At Weymouth and Portland, Dorset

Men’s 49er (medal race); Women’s Elliott 6m, 7 a.m.

Table Tennis

At ExCeL

Men’s Team bronze medal match, 6 a.m.

Men’s Team gold medal match, 10:30 a.m.

Taekwondo

At ExCeL

Men’s -58kg and Women’s -49kg preliminary round of 16, 4 a.m.

Men’s -58kg and Women’s -49kg quarterfinals, semifinals, 10 a.m.

Men’s -58kg and Women’s -49kg repechages, bronze medal contests,
gold medal, 3 p.m.

Team Handball

Men

At Copper Box

Quarterfinal, 6 a.m.

Quarterfinal, 9:30 a.m.

Quarterfinal, 1 p.m.

Quarterfinal, 4:30 p.m.

Volleyball

Men

At Earls Court

Quarterfinal, 9 a.m.

Quarterfinal, 11 a.m.

Quarterfinal, 2:30 p.m.

Quarterfinal, 4:30 p.m.

Water Polo

Men

At Olympic Park-Water Polo Arena

Quarterfinal, 9:30 a.m.

Quarterfinal, 10:50 a.m.

Quarterfinal, 1:40 p.m.

Quarterfinal, 3 p.m.

Wrestling (Freestyle)

At ExCeL

Women’s 48kg and 63kg qualifications, 1/8 finals, quarterfinals,
semifinals, 8 a.m.

Women’s 48kg and 63kg repechage rounds, bronze and gold medal
contests, 12:45 p.m.

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