Olympics 2012 Schedule: United States vs. Argentina in Basketball Is Must-See TV

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIAugust 10, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Marcos Mata (L) of  Argentina and Anthony Davis of the United States go to the basket during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match between Argentina and USA on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on August 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mark Ralston - IOPP Pool /Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

The United States and Argentinian men's basketball teams have gotten to know each other quite well over the past few weeks.

On Friday evening they will play for a spot in the gold medal game and it should be a really fun game to watch.

Things got chippy between the two sides during their preliminary round contest on Monday.

After a sloppy first half, that finished with the Americans leading 60-59, Team USA turned up the pressure in the third quarter. The U.S. dropped 42 points on Argentina in that quarter and put the game out of reach. The Argentinians had no answer for Team USA in the second half as they fell 126-97

That matchup was incredibly physical, with lots of elbows being thrown and some serious physical play. The tensions boiled over when Carmelo Anthony received a shot to the groin from Argentine point guard Facundo Campazzo at the end of the third quarter. Anthony and his teammates were not pleased by the low blow and called it a cheap shot.

The two squads also squared off in Barcelona on July 22, with the U.S. winning 86-80 in a pre-Olympic exhibition matchup. 

Argentina isn't a pushover, they knocked off a solid Brazil team 82-77 on Wednesday night. The team's roster boasts some solid NBA-level talent, led by Manu Ginobili, Andres Nocioni, Carlos Delfino and Luis Scola.

It is a very balanced lineup that has spread the scoring out. If those guys play at their absolute peak and the Americans have an off-night shooting the ball, things could get interesting.

What you're going to see on Friday when the U.S. and Argentina face off is a classic basketball slug-fest.

With guys like Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh missing the games because of injuries, the Americans lack the kind of size that would help them dominate Argentina. Instead of out-muscling the South Americans, they will have to out-smart and out-shoot them.

It will be an incredibly watchable game that could be the best clash of styles in the entire tournament.