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How rare is it that we get a full day of a basketball binge in August? Pretty cool, huh? That's exactly what Wednesday will be, as the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament will take place starting at 9 a.m. EST. Here's the schedule for the day. All games on NBC Sports Network:
Russia vs. Lithuania: This game features zero current Washington Wizards players, but Lithuania does have Darius Songaila, playing in what could be his last major international competition. Also, these are the two teams most opposed to David Stern's grand under-23 Olympic idea, which now seems like it won't actually happen. (9 a.m.).
France vs. Spain: What a test for Kevin Seraphin. The Wizards' youngster, as well as the rest of the Joakim Noah-less France frontcourt, will have a tall order stopping the two Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka. We'll definitely see what Seraphin is really made of in this matchup. Spain, meanwhile, has to find themselves after an uneven performance in the group stage. (11:15 a.m.)
Argentina vs. Brazil: After sitting out the final game of the preliminary round, it looks like Nene will play for Brazil against an Argentina squad that has more experience than anyone in the field, Team USA included. The winner gets Team USA, so a lot is on the line. These are also regional rivals, and Brazil is coming hard for Argentina's South American crown. Argentina has little young talent in the pipeline, so it's only a matter of time until Brazil takes over the continent. It doesn't have to happen today, though. (3 p.m.)
Team USA vs. Australia: The Baby Boomers don't have a ton of recognizable names, but they are a tightly-knit group that won three of five games in a difficult Group B. Led by Patty Mills, I expect them to challenge Team USA more than people expect. Team USA should win easily, though. (5:15)
PICKS: Russia, Spain, Argentina, Team USA.