FIBA World Championship Quarterfinals: USA vs. Russia

You can't go wrong with USA vs. Russia in any sport, but in basketball this game will always wake the echoes of the former Soviet Union swiping gold in the 1972 Olympics. After nearly 30 years it was surprising to hear a diplomatic debate break out between the Russian coach -- and American citizen -- David Blatt and Mike Krzyzewski over the validity of the ridiculous finish in Munich gold medal game.

That talk has to be a bit of a yawner for the young U.S. squad so they'll need to rely on their own personal pride to take down the modern-day Russian team today in the FIBA World Championship quarterfinal matchup. The Russians will certainly present some front-court problems for the undersized Americans.

Timofey Mozgov is a 23-year-old, 7'1" center signed by the New York Knicks this offseason. He's leading the Russians in scoring but remains a work in progress and a player who shouldn't dominate the middle on his own. But with Sasha Kaun (6'11") and Sergey Monya (6'9") added to the mix, the U.S. team will have to keep things moving and not allow the Russian bigs to play at a favorable pace.

The game starts at 11:00AM on ESPN. Serbia's defeat of Spain yesterday raised the bar of excitement in Istanbul as the one-and-done round has provoked some serious intensity among the elite teams. Expect nothing less in this game.

After the jump, a few links of interest with stories about the WCs, NBA free agents and performance enhancing basketball shoes.

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