After rolling to a 7-0 mark at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, only two things stand between the U.S. men's national basketball team and Olympic gold: time and Spain. Plenty of watchers likely think it's simply a matter of the former.
After all, Team USA's posted an average margin of victory of 35.6 points per game in London, including a fairly comfortable 26-point win over a proud bunch from Argentina in semifinal play on Friday. Plus, the U.S. dismissed Spain by 22 in Barcelona to cap its pre-London exhibition slate, and while Spain boasts a talented roster with plenty of world-class players, the Spaniards haven't exactly looked brilliant in making their way to the final. They dropped games to Russia and Brazil (well, some people have opinions on that one) in group play, and looked stagnant offensively for large chunks of their knockout-round wins over France and Russia.
[ Photos: U.S. men's basketball goes for gold ]
But stagnant or no, Spain got here, and exhibition loss or no, history suggests that means Spain's dangerous — namely, the fact that the U.S. beat Spain by 37 in pool play back in Beijing and then found itself in a dogfight late in the gold-medal game just a week later. Can Pau Gasol and company rekindle some of that same magic and give the U.S. a run for it? Or will the American offensive attack be too much for Spain to handle?
Join us back here at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday as we find out during a live chat of the gold-medal matchup between Team USA and Spain. (Please note that while we'll try our best, we might not be be able to get to all questions and comments — we appreciate your understanding.)
Let's go for the gold in live-blogging:
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