Group play is officially over at the World University Games and both Team USA and Team Brazil are moving on to the quarterfinals (I think), though both in very different ways.
Team USA got their first test of the tournament, eventually gutting out a hard-fought 94-84 win over Israel (2-3) on Thursday. The US trailed by 2 at the half but used a 10-0 run that stretched from the end of the third quarter into the beginning of the fourth to secure the win and a 5-0 record in group play.
Scoop had a relatively low-key day, scoring three points and turning the ball over twice in 15 minutes of work. Since the team had already clinched the top spot, they may have been taking it easy with Scoop and some other key players.
On Saturday, Team USA will face Lithuania, who went 4-1 in Group C. Their lone loss came to group winner Russia.
Despite losing their last two games, the Brazilians will still advance by the skin of their teeth thanks to the convoluted group-play tiebreaker.
Brazil beat Romania, but lost to Czech Republic. Romania, meanwhile, knocked off Czech Republic. Brazil nabbed Group A's second spot in the quarterfinals thanks to a point differential of +52. Romania's point differential was +51, while Czech Republic's was +47.
Brazil faces Canada, which finished 3-1 in Group B, on Saturday in the quarterfinals. If they win that game, they'll take on the winner of the USA-Lithuania game. And we'll finally have what we came here for.
Or maybe not? SUAthletics says Brazil DIDN'T make the quarters and will instead play in the consolation bracket. I'm so confused...someone help me.