The top three seeds in Group A of the Olympic men's basketball tournament remain in the air. Team USA is in the pole position for the No. 1 spot and a quarterfinal match against Australia on Wednesday. But to guarantee that seed, the United States needs to beat Argentina in the final game of group play on Monday.
France, which plays Nigeria in its final group game, has locked up a bid to the knockouts, but could enter as either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. It would prefer the No. 2 seed, because that would estrange the team from Team USA in the elimination bracket. To win No. 2, France needs a win over Nigeria and a Team USA win over Argentina.
Alternately, France could get the spot with a win and an 49-point win by Argentina over Team USA. We would not recommend holding your breath for that result.
To claim No. 1, Argentina either needs a France loss or needs to beat Team USA by at least 17. Again, we do not encourage you to hold your breath.
The intrigue continues in Group B, where Brazil and Spain each have incentive to lose their finale, as doing so will estrange them from Team USA in the knockout bracket.