After an eventful start to the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the final day of the group-stage play is certain to feature a lot of excitement.
The United States and Spain each clinched first place in their group, but there is a lot still left to be decided with one day remaining. All 24 teams are in action, so there is something for everyone to watch in Spain.
Here is a recap of the Day 5 results with a look ahead to Day 6.
|Matchup||Time (ET)||Watch||Predicted Winner|
|Australia vs. Angola||7:30 a.m.||ESPN3||Australia|
|Senegal vs. Philippines||8 a.m.||ESPN3||Senegal|
|Finland vs. New Zealand||9 a.m.||ESPN3||New Zealand|
|Brazil vs. Egypt||9:30 a.m.||ESPN3||Brazil|
|South Korea vs. Mexico||11:30 a.m.||ESPN3||Mexico|
|Ukraine vs. USA||11:30 a.m.||ESPN2||USA|
|Iran vs. France||12 p.m.||ESPN3||France|
|Croatia vs. Puerto Rico||12 p.m.||ESPN3||Croatia|
|Lithuania vs. Slovenia||3:30 p.m.||ESPN3||Lithuania|
|Turkey vs. Dominican Republic||3:30 p.m.||ESPN3||Turkey|
|Serbia vs. Spain||4 p.m.||ESPN3||Spain|
|Argentina vs. Greece||4 p.m.||ESPN3||Argentina|
Top Games to Watch
USA vs. Ukraine
The United States moved to 4-0 in Group C with its latest win over the Dominican Republic, putting the squad out of reach from Ukraine, which dropped to 2-2 with a loss to New Zealand.
Despite clinching first place in the group, Team USA's task is far from complete. The goal is to bring home a gold medal, and the squad will keep working hard to become the best it can be before the start of the knockout round.
"Each and every last one of us doesn't care who scores the ball, as long as we win. We are just trying to get the gold. We don't care who's out there scoring, who's out there rebounding, who's out there getting steals or the shine and glory. We just want to win games."
Even though the team has won its four games by a combined 142 points, there is still a lot to work on before the knockout round. Even with 28 assists against the Dominican Republic, the team needs to show more consistency passing the ball.
Additionally, backcourt defense could be a problem against better opponents.
Ukraine has been incredibly inconsistent in this tournament, earning quality wins against the Dominican Republic and Turkey while also losing to Finland and New Zealand. However, the squad can be a tough challenge when playing well.
While the game does not matter much going forward, the Americans will need a strong performance to keep their momentum going in the next stage.
Argentina vs. Greece
This will be the first matchup of top-five teams with Argentina being ranked third and Greece being fifth in the world rankings.
With four games in the books, this last battle between these two will help decide the Group B winner:
76-65! Greece won Croatia and needs the win vs Argentina to finish first!— Eurohoops.net (@Eurohoopsnet) September 3, 2014
Greece has started 4-0, but Argentina is right behind with a 3-1 record and the exact same plus-57 point differential. The winner of this competition will be in first place while the loser will likely be second with a harder path going forward.
Argentina did suffer a disappointing loss to Croatia earlier in the week, but the team is red-hot lately:
Argentina thrashed Senegal 81-46. Luis Scola had 22 points and 14 rebounds— Sportando (@sportando) September 3, 2014
Luis Scola has been almost unstoppable for the South American squad, although Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to impress for Greece as well.
This game will likely go down to the wire, and it will have a big impact on the rest of the tournament.
Australia vs. Angola
As John Schuhmann of NBA.com points out, Mexico is in the driver's seat to earn the fourth-place spot in Group D:
Mexico will likely be USA's opponent in the round of 16 on Sat. Win over Angola today has them looking like 4th-place team in Group D.— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) September 2, 2014
While this seems to be the more likely scenario, a win for Angola on Thursday along with a Mexico loss would give them the fourth spot in the knockout round. In this case, Team USA would be facing Angola in the round of 16.
Meanwhile, Australia is still fighting for a first-place finish in Group D. A win over Angola would make the squad 4-1 in the group stage, which could create a three-way tie for first if Lithuania beats Slovenia. At that point, it will come down to point differential.
As a result, you can expect Australia to give its full effort in order to rack up the score as much as possible.
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