Today was an exciting day in the competition. Team USA got revenge and beat Serbia 68-66 in a very close game. Brackins started and played 19 minutes. He got 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block, shooting 3-8 from the floor including 1-3 from downtown.
Also, I stand corrected regarding Germany's future. They did beat Romania 81-69 to get in a 3-way tie with Latvia and Romania. Germany beat Romania but lost to Latvia. Latvia beat Germany but lost to Romania. Romania beat Lativa but lost to Germany. Sounds like the Big 12 South last season in football, except it was the battle of 1 win teams, not 1 loss teams!
Back to the Germany vs. Romania game. Lucca started and logged 31 minutes. He scored 9 points, got 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. He shot 3-7 all from beyond the arc. He shot efficently, and contributed in other ways to help the team win. If he can play like this next year, it will be all good!
So here are the teams that have made it into the medal rounds:
USA, Serbia, Lithuania, Germany, Israel, Russia, Turkey, and Bulgaria.
USA will play Bulgaria on Thursday at 1pm CST. The winner will advance to the Semifinals and play the winner of Russia and Lithuania. The loser will go into the 5th-8th place bracket and play the loser of Russia and Lithuania.
Germany will play a tough Israel team on Thursday at 5:30am CST. The winner will play the winner of Serbia and Turkey, while the loser will play the loser of Serbia and Turkey.
The ONLY way (and I triple checked) for Brackins and Lucca to play each other would be if Germany and the USA could make it to the finals.
My prediction is that the final four will be USA, Russia, Serbia, and Israel. The USA will play a tough game against Russia, but win, and Serbia will handle Israel. The finals will be USA vs. Serbia, and it's really anyone's game. These teams have played 2 close games already. The Bronze Medal Game will be Russia and Israel with Russia taking it. For the record, I think Germany will play in the 7th place game.
Prior to competition, I thought the 3 best teams were USA, Serbia, and Russia. Nothing that I've seen from the results would indicate that this still isn't the case.
Quarterfinals are on Thursday, Semifinals on Friday, and Finals on Saturday. I will do my best to keep you posted.