Updated 03:02 AM EST, Sat, Dec 04, 2021

FIBA World Cup 2014 Schedule - Sept 9: Team USA vs Slovenia

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Slovenia will be facing FIBA World Cup defending champion, Team USA, on Sept. 9 after qualifying for the quarterfinals.

That match-up materialized on Saturday after USA toppled Mexico and Slovenia beat the Dominican Republic in Barcelona. Meanwhile, France edged out Croatia and Spain took down Senegal, FIBA said.

The Tuesday match will literally be an uphill battle for the European team, especially considering their height disadvantage, according to an Associated Press report on The Star. In basketball, the height disparity can make or break a team.

Only five players in Slovenia are 6-foot-7 or taller, while the U.S. has eight of the same height, the report explained. The height would affect the shorter team's performance inside the two-point field, where most of the action ensues.

Team USA went to the Round of 16 without a loss in Group C, CBS Sports said. It faced Mexico with a 2-3 record in the knockouts and won, 86-63.

SB Nation said the American team had a sluggish start fired up by Stephen Curry. His three-pointers pushed a "15-point lead into a margin exceeding 20 points" at the third quarter. Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins neutralized Gustavo Ayon's impact in the second half. 

On the other hand, Slovenia beat the Dominican Republic, 71-61. It had a 4-1 record in Group D, second only to the Lithuanians. 

SB Nation said the Dominican Republic wanted to overcome the Slovenians in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to two points two times. However, the Dragic brothers--Zoran and Goran--had strong performances to match that. 

Goran got 12 points on 12 shots and six assists, despite some turnovers. Zoran had 18 points on 15 shots plus four steals. Slovenia's defense also held the Dominican Republic back to just below 20 points in all but the third quarter, CBS Sports said. 

The FIBA statistics would suggest an interesting match up, with Slovenia and USA almost at odds in their statistics at two-point, three-point shots and free throws. Slovenia is 59.5 percent in two-point field goals while USA is 58.6 percent. At three-points, USA has 37 percent compared to 36.3 percent. They differ by only 0.2 percent at free throws, with Slovenia dominating. 

The U.S. challenge would come from defensive rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and fast-break points. It also dominates turnovers and second-chance points: 33.3 and 14.3 compared to 19.5 and 9.8.

CBS Sports is looking forward to how the Dragic threat will perform against USA, saying they will be bombarded by the opposing team's backcourt. To taunt the defense, it suggested, they would need to score inside.

The United States beat Slovenia in the group stages of 2006 and 2010, FIBA recalled. In a warm-up game last month, the Americans have also sealed the game against the Slovenians, with a score of 101-71, the Star added. 

The winner will face Lithuania or Turkey on Thursday. See if USA succeeds at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. You can also stream it on WatchESPN.  

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