Four years ago, Team USA and Spain staged an instant classic in the gold-medal game at the Beijing Olympics. Now, they'll square off again with the same prize on the line. After semifinal wins on Friday, Team USA and Spain play for the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament at 10 a.m. EST on NBC on Sunday.
In 2008, Team USA couldn't put Spain away until the very end, finally coming away with a 118-107 victory thanks to clutch shooting from Kobe Bryant. Both teams, however, are in different places now than they were then. LeBron James and Kevin Durant are now the leaders of Team USA, with Bryant playing a complementary role unless he has it going from three-point range. Meanwhile, this Spanish team has looked more erratic than usual, slipping through to the final despite the absence of Ricky Rubio and nagging injuries from Marc Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro.
Prior to that game, Russia and Argentina will square off for the bronze medal. Led by fiery coach David Blatt, Russia got this far, but they ran out of gas against a determined Spanish effort. Meanwhile, this could be Argentina's last dance, as their "golden generation" of Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni and Pablo Prigioni that was so successful internationally over the last decade, is on its final legs with no young talent in reserve. That game will take place at 6 a.m. EST on NBC Sports Network.