FIBA announced the preliminary group pairings for the London 2012 Olympics earlier this week. The reigning champions headline Group A and have been paired up with first-time Olympians, Angola, and soon-to-be foes, China.
The United States will face off with an exhibition with China on May 12 in Seattle in a preview of one preliminary matchup. The U.S. enters riding a 33-game winning streak in Olympic competition, and the preliminary games will take place July 28-Aug. 5. While seven of the 12-team field is set, there are still five spots yet to be determined in a tournament later this summer.
The top four teams of each group in preliminary competition will then advance to the quarterfinal round on Aug. 7. The semifinals are two days later on Aug. 9 with the gold-medal game taking place Aug. 11 in London.
United States (FIBA World gold)
Australia (FIBA Oceana gold)
There are 12 teams attempting to qualify for the final five spots - Argentina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Mali, Mozambique, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Korea and Turkey.
US records in Olympic competition vs. each potential Olympic competitor:
(US overall record in the Olympics: 50-3)
Czech Republic: 2-0
New Zealand: 3-0
Puerto Rico: 0-0
South Korea: 7-0