Olympics 2012: USA Basketball Team and the Biggest Gold Medal Locks in London
Ironically, the closest matchups and best duels rarely catch our attention during the Olympic Games. We spend most of our time talking about dominance.
We as fans like to talk about the best teams and athletes. We are fascinated by someone who can completely blow away the field.
2012 will be no different.
Several events have already been decided. Here are the five biggest gold medal locks in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
USA Men's Basketball
Some experts like to get cute by claiming teams like Spain and Argentina are real competitors to Team USA.
While it's certainly possible that one of those teams could play an amazing game and keep it close, they aren't even close to Team USA in terms of overall talent.
Think about it.
Only one Spanish player (Pau Gasol) would even make the American team. Same goes for Argentina (Manu Ginobili). No French, Brazilian or any other foreign player not named Dirk Nowitzki would make Team USA.
They are far and away the best team.
If they lose it will be because of some ridiculous act of god. Team USA could play every team in the Olympics 100 times and win at least 97 of them.
They're taking home the gold.
Spain Men's Soccer
Spain's dominance in soccer isn't quite as pronounced as Team USA's in basketball, but the gap is much smaller than you'd think.
Team Spain looks virtually unstoppable.
They recently won the Euro championships by destroying runner-up Italy 4-0 in the championship game. They are also the current World Cup champions and have by far the most talented roster in the field.
I'll believe in Spain until someone beats them. When that time comes we can talk about someone else winning that medal, but until then they're the clear favorites.
Usain Bolt: Mens 100 Meter-Dash
We've spent the past four years praising Bolt's speed on such ridiculous levels that the idea of him winning anything other than gold in the 100-meter dash sounds downright ridiculous.
Remember when we openly wondered if he could be an NFL star? That type of talk is reserved for only the finest athletes.
He currently holds the world record in the 100-meter dash with a ridiculous time of 9.58 seconds.
Bolt isn't racing against the field, he's racing against himself. We aren't asking who's going to beat him, we're wondering if he can truly break his incredible record.
That's the sign of a gold medal lock.
Michael Phelps: Every Event Ryan Lochte Isn't Competing in
Ranking one event as Michael Phelps's best just seems unfair.
He dominates in every event, and without a worthy rival in most of his races, he should breeze to at least five gold medals.
There is however one notable exception to the "no worthy rival" statement.
Ryan Lochte is thought by many to be poised to take down Phelps in their two races together.
Phelps and Lochte will compete in the 200-meter and 400-meter individual medleys. While Phelps is the reigning champion in both, Lochte is seemingly hungrier.
This isn't about close events though, this is about the blowouts. Phelps isn't losing in any of his five non-Lochte races.
That's a lock.
USA: Women, Team Gymnastics
Team USA's women's gymnastics team looks ready to take home the gold with relative ease in the Olympics.
They are as star studded as a gymnastics team can get, led by two of the world's best gymnasts in Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas.
Team USA won the 2011 world championships in Tokyo, beating defending champion Russia by a decent margin.
Their individuals all put up impressive showings as well.
The American women have a ton of talent at the top with Wieber and Douglas but also have solid depth. They have dominated recent competitions and appear to be the early favorite in London.
I don't see any reason why they won't win the gold medal.