Featured Columnist Matt Petersen here live, blogging the USA-Angola game. It's FIBA's version of the Sweet 16, and every game carries win-or-go-home weight.
Will Team USA respond after a lethargic week of pool play? Follow live to find out.
Just let your screen update automatically for the latest feedback, and feel free to comment below. I'll do my best to respond to some of the more intriguing ones throughout the course of the game.
If you need any proof that the rest of the world is catching up, focus your microscope on Angola. The Dream Team intimidated (Barkley's elbow on an Angolan player, which he later defended with concerns about receiving an Angolan spear to the gut) and annihilated (68-point win) in 1992.
Fast forward to 2008, when the Redeem Team was unable to completely shake Angola thanks to crappy defense and worse focus. Also give credit to Angola for their increasing depth of basketball talent. They've been slower to evolve than their South American counterparts, but they have progressed.
In other words, don't be shocked if Angola hangs around an entire half or even longer.
One-and-done a good thing?
It's only fitting Team USA is now. facing the college-like portion of the tournament. Five of their players, including alpha dog Kevin Durant, are still young enough to be in college had they elected to stay. The fairly fresh memories of March Madness may be of help in this situation.
Keep your eye on
Derrick Rose. He was nearly invisible in USA's last game of pool play versus Tunisia (four points, two assists). If anyone will benefit from coach Mike Krzyzewski's attempt to refocus this team it's Rose.
He needs to. Durant needs a No. 2 guy here as badly as he does in OKC, and maybe more. Team USA has much more to lose than it has to gain at this tournament. Even though they're ranked No. 2 in the world, everyone is expecting gold from the red, white, and blue.