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Team USA gets reasonably easy draw in 2016 Olympics

Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: (L-R) Russell Westbrook #7, Deron Williams #8, Andre Iguodala #9, Kobe Bryant #10, Kevin Love #11, James Harden #12 and Chris Paul #13 of United States pose together on the podium after defeating Spain to win the gold medal in the Men’s Basketball gold medal game on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Five men’s basketball teams in FIBA’s top 10 have already qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Team USA won’t have to face any of the other four in group play.

Here are the groups, which were drawn today, with each team’s FIBA ranking:

Group A

  • 1. United States
  • 11. Australia
  • 14. China
  • 22. Venezuela
  • Olympic Qualifying Tournament winner
  • Olympic Qualifying Tournament winner

Group B

  • 2. Spain
  • 3. Lithuania
  • 4. Argentina
  • 9. Brazil
  • 25. Nigeria
  • Olympic Qualifying Tournament winner

Each team in each group will play each other. The top four teams in each group advance to the knockout stage.

The Olympic Qualifying Tournament winners will be slotted after those events this summer. They could produce Team USA’s toughest competition in the group stage – with the possibility of both No. 5 France and No. 6 Serbia joining Group A.

The Americans were always going to be heavily favored to advance from the group stage (and go much further). This draw just makes it a little more certain.