USA vs. Australia: Live Stream and Preview for U17 World Basketball Championship
The 2012 Summer Olympics are almost here, but that isn't the only international tournament taking place this summer. The final in the FIBA U17 World Championship should grab your attention as well.
The final is between the USA and Australia. The United States defeated Spain to earn their finals berth, while Australia knocked off the Czech Republic to grab their bid.
Just because this event isn't regularly televised doesn't mean you can't watch:
*For more info on the United States and other teams involved in this tournament, click here.
Date: Sunday, July 8
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fibatv.com
Now that you know when to watch, let's take a look at a few of this game's finer points.
How They Got Here
The American team is undefeated (5-0), and it hasn't been close. Their squad is filled with up-and-coming collegiate stars and future NBA headliners. Their run is impressive, but you can't say it's surprising.
The United States defeated Spain by 29 points in the semifinals to earn their finals berth. Before that, they beat Canada 113-59. Dominance like that shows the strength of this team, and that wasn't even the worst of it: they defeated China 116-47 earlier in the tournament.
Australia defeated the Czech Republic by 12 in the semifinals after beating Argentina by 19 in the quarterfinals. Their road hasn't been as easy, but they're still impressive.
The USA's road and reputation will give them the "favorites" moniker, while Australia enters as the consensus underdogs.
Players to Watch
Jahlil Okafor, USA
Okafor is one of the budding centers in American high school basketball. He's averaging 13 points per game thus far in the tournament.
He plays with great technique for a 16-year-old star. His talent is obvious, but few post players bring his level of polish to their low-post repertoire.
No team has had a solid answer for Okafor thus far, and don't expect it to start on Sunday. He's a man among boys in this tournament.
Dante Exum, Australia
According to australiabasket.com, the 6'4'' point guard is scoring over 16 points per game so far in FIBA competition. He's shooting less than 20 percent from beyond the arc, but Australia's offense prospers when he is penetrating.
Exum hasn't faced competition like this before, but it's always fun to see the best the world has to offer. He doesn't have the reputation that many of these American players carry onto the court, but he can certainly score.
Keep an eye on Exum for now and into the future.
Who will win the FIBA U17 final?
I don't expect this to be all that close. The American team has rolled through this tournament, and they will make it six wins in a row on Sunday night.
Their team is too deep and too talented. They have solid play inside and out, and they play hard on both ends of the floor.
Okafor and Exum will each score their fair share, but Okafor's team will prevail with Conner Frankamp helping Okafor by stretching the defense from the perimeter.
Final score: USA 93, Australia 71
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