#Spain2014 Round of 16 Roundup

Some favorites fell and some underdogs rose in the Round of 16 of the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. Team USA joined powerhouses Lithuania, Brazil, and Spain in the quarterfinals along with France and Slovenia. Upstarts Serbia and Turkey also crashed the party.

Are these the consensus top four teams remaining in #Spain2014?

Game recaps (adapted from FIBA.com):

Day 7:
USA over MEXICO, 86-63
Box Scores 
There wasn’t much of a surprise here as the Americans started strong and clinically dismantled the Mexicans. Steph Curry had his best shooting game of the tournament, making six of nine three-balls en route to 20 points. The USA's perimeter defense did not allow Mexico's vaunted long-range  shooting attack to become a factor, with Sergio Valdeolmillos' squad just four of 16. Gustavo Ayon of Mexico, the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship MVP, did leave a good impression with a 25-point, eight-rebound effort.

Steph Curry splashed six treys as the Americans throttled the Mexicans.

FRANCE over CROATIA, 69-64
Box Scores 
France had to hold on at the end of their clash with Croatia but still prevailed. Les Bleus broke open a close game in the third quarter and led 46-30 late in the frame, but Croatia charged back in the fourth. A three-pointer from the excellent Bojan Bogdanovic pulled Croatia to within 66-64 just 52 seconds from the death. He then missed a chance to put Jasmin Repesa's team in front with 24 seconds when he was off-target with a shot from beyond the arc. France made three free-throws to clinch the victory. Nicolas Batum had 14 points and Evan Fournier 13 for France, while Bogdanovic poured in 27 in defeat.

Box Scores 
Slovenia booked a spot in the last eight for the second time in a row by thumping the Dominican Republic. The Slovenians opened up a 15-point lead in the third quarter only for Orlando Antigua's side to cut the deficit to two in the fourth. The Dominicans even had possession with an opportunity to pull level or go in front but did not take advantage. Zoran Dragic helped Slovenia seal victory by making big plays on offense and also defense. He finished with 18 points and four steals. James Feldeine's 18 points and Jack Martinez's 12 points and 11 rebounds helped the Dominicans in their comeback. Slovenia lost to the United States in the Group Phases in both 2006 and 2010, and again last month in a warm-up game for the Basketball World Cup.

SPAIN over SENEGAL, 89-56
Box Scores 
Spain was a big winner over Senegal in the last game of Day 7. Marc Gasol was among the big contributors with nine points, six rebounds and four assists as the tournament hosts won by more than 30 points. The Senegalese kept things close after the first ten minutes, but the home team blew things open in the second period and was in cruise control till the final buzzer. Abdou Badji paced the losing side with a dozen markers and 7 rebounds, while four Spaniards finished in double-digits led by Pau Gasol’s 17.

Sergio Lull cruises to the hoop against the Senegalese.

Day 8:
Box Scores 
Lithuania had to pull out all stops to beat New Zealand in Barcelona. The Tall Blacks, thanks largely to the hot hand of Corey Webster (26 points), hit back from a 15-point deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter, only for Lithuania to scrape a close win. Jonas Valanciunas had 22 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Lithuanians. Webster's three-pointer with 7:12 remaining gave the Kiwis a 59-58 lead. Valanciunas, with his team wobbling, drew a foul in the paint from Isaac Fotu and made both free-throws to put the Baltic side back in front. Then with the game knotted at 61-61, Valanciunas again went to the line and sank two more free throws. The Tall Blacks refused to go away with a Mika Vukona jumper tying the game at 65-65 with 2:42 to play. Valanciunas, however, again came up big for Lithuania with a jump shot 2:16 from the death and this time, Lithuania stayed in front for good.

Martynas Pocius tries to get past Corey Webster in their clash in the Round of 16.

SERBIA over GREECE, 90-72
Box Scores 
The Serbians, who finished fourth in Group A, unexpectedly thrashed erstwhile unbeaten Greece. Aleksandar Djordjevic's team connected on nine of 17 shots from long range, with Bogdan Bogdanovic four of seven. Bogdanovic had 21 points in the win. The Serbians will now play in the quarterfinals against Brazil. Nemanja Bjelica also played splendidly for Serbia with 8 markers and 10 boards, while Nick Calathes paced Team Hellas with 14 points.

Box Scores 
Australia bossed proceedings for much of the contest but eventually fell to Turkey. The result has thrown the Turks into a quarterfinal showdown with Lithuania. Matthew Dellavedova's two free-throws with 5:56 to go in the third quarter lifted the Boomers into a 48-36 advantage, but Turkey stayed within striking distance. Preldzic, who had no points in the first half, scored 16 after the interval, and his most important baskets came in the final minute. Preldzic hit a shot from outside the arc to cut Australia’s lead 64-62 with 48 seconds to go. The Boomers then failed to beat the 24-second shot-clock in the next possession.  After Ergin Ataman called a timeout and put the fate of his team in the hands of Preldzic, the small forward dribbled until the clock had seven seconds on it. He then uncorked a three-pointer that was straight and true. There were still five seconds remaining, however,  and Australia called timeout. When Joe Ingles received an inbounds pass, he dribbled close to the basket and had the ball knocked away. Sinan Guler was also terrific for Turkey, keeping them within striking distance in the first half when he poured in 14 of his 16 points. Guler repeatedly drove into the heart of the Australian defense and scored with lay-ups.

Box Scores 
Brazil also recorded a resounding triumph over continental rival Argentina. Tiago Splitter's lay-up with 6:39 to play in the third quarter gave the Brazilians a 37-36 lead, and they never trailed again. The advantage ballooned to 57-47 late in the frame with a Marquinhos Vieira three-pointer. Ruben Magnano's team pulled away for a decisive victory in the last stanza. Raul Neto finished with a game-high 21 points for Brazil, while Pablo Prigioni paced the Argentines with 18 markers. Sadly, it seems we have seen the end of Argentina’s vaunted “golden generation.”

Nene goes up strong as the Brazilians finally upended Argentina after years of frustration.

All images are from FIBA.com.

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