The refrain heard so often at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil will be more accurate if it's chanted during the 2014 FIBA World Cup, even if this is a different Team USA we're believing in.
"I believe that we will win."
While the soccer squad advanced past the Group of Death—which included eventual champions Germany—and played Belgium tough in a knockout-stage loss, basketball's version of Team USA is bound to experience even more success. This time, the belief that victory is the end result is one more grounded in fact, realistic expectations and prior success.
That said, the American squad isn't going to enjoy a cakewalk en route to a gold medal; it will actually have to be earned by a roster that's devoid of so many names that populated the roster during the 2012 Olympics. LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and other All-Stars will be sitting out this time around.
Nonetheless, the stars will be out in full force both during the camps in Las Vegas, Chicago and New York and during the tournament itself, when games will be played in the Canary Islands, Bilbao and Barcelona.
Team USA may be the prohibitive favorites to win the FIBA World Cup, but it isn't a shoo-in. For that status to be achieved, a quartet of players must step up throughout the festivities.