London 2012 basketball: US men and women take on the Aussies

London 2012 basketball: The US men's basketball team takes on Australia in Olympic quarterfinal action Wednesday. On Thursday, the American women also play the Aussies in their semifinals. 

By , Contributor

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    London 2012 basketball: American Kevin Durant, (l.), and Lithuania's Mantas Kalnietis, scramble for a rebound during a preliminary men's basketball game at Aug. 4 at the London Games. The US men take on Australia next, Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. EST.
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The weak have been weeded out. The basketball field at the London Games is narrowing and the US teams are looking golden.

On Wednesday, the men prepare to take on Australia in the quarterfinals at 5:15 p.m. EST. The powerhouse US team has been undefeated at the Olympics so far, crushing most of their competitors with outrageous point margins, like their 156-73 win over Nigeria

The Australian men have struggled a bit more, losing twice at the Olympics, 82-70 to Spain, and 75-71 to Brazil. The highest scorers for Australia have been center David Andersen, forward Joe Ingles, and point guard Patrick Mills. Mills, who plays for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, is currently the second-highest scoring player at the London Games, averaging 20.2 points per game. But Mills, Andersen, and Ingles, as well as the team as a whole, will have to be at their best to take down the star-studded US team. 

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The US's small forward, Kevin Durant, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, is known as the most prolific scorer in the world, but has averaged only 18.6 points per game. Small forward Carmelo Anthony, who plays for the New York Knicks, is the second-highest scorer for the US, averaging 17.4 points per game. But the US men as a whole have scored an average of 117.8 points, leaving Argentina far behind in second place with 89.6.  

If the American men beat the Australians, they will take on either Brazil or Argentina in the semifinals on Friday.

The US women's team play also Australia next, Thursday at noon. The American ladies are also undefeated at the Olympics. In their last game they took down Canada, 91-48. But the Aussie women have been strong in London too. They've lost only one game so far, to France.

Two players for the Aussies are members of the WNBA: Lauren Jackson, who plays for the Seattle Storm, and Liz Cambage who plays for the Tulsa Shock. Jackson and Cambage are the highest-scoring players for the Aussies, averaging 14.7 and 14.5 points per game, respectively.

No American woman has made it into the top 10 scorers at the Olympics, but the team as whole has blown the competition out of the water, averaging 92.2 points per game. The Australians are the second-highest scoring team, with 71.3 points per game. 

If the US women win, they will take on either Russia or France in the gold medal game, Saturday at 4 p.m.

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