Nigeria Wins Final Olympic Men's Basketball Bid

LOS ANGELES CA - DECEMBER 29: Ike Diogu #50 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots over Paul Millsap #24 of the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on December 29 2010 in Los Angeles California. The Jazz won 103-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

In a minor upset, Ike Diogu and Al-Farouq Aminu who were able to outplay Al Horford as Nigeria secured the final spot in the field of 12 for London.

In a surprising upset, Nigeria earned the final spot in the men's basketball field in the Olympics with an 88-73 victory over the Dominican Republic on Sunday night.

It was a do-or-die game for both teams, the third-place game in a tournament that sends the top-three teams to London.

Very few people had Nigeria penciled in to even make it this far, as Nigeria is making its first-ever Olympic berth in basketball. 2012 is the first year that two African teams have made the Olympics.

The Nigerians were able to overcome the heavily favored Dominicans, who were coached by John Calipari and featured Atlanta Hawks All-Star Al Horford, primarily on the strength of their front line.

Ike Diogu, a five-year NBA veteran who appeared in only two games last season, was dominant, with a 25/10 double-double, including a few back-breaking threes late in the fourth quarter. He was aided by Al-Farouq Aminu, a raw but extremely athletic young forward for the New Orleans Hornets who battled Horford to a draw for most of the game.

Nigeria will probably be just as a big an underdog in London as they were in Caracas, but the size of Aminu and Diogu give them a chance to make some noise.

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