USA and Spain to tip-off World Cup last 16

Defending world champions United States and hosts Spain will be amongst the teams tipping off as the FIBA World Cup last 16 begins.

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The high-octane, high-flying United States take on neighbours Mexico in Barcelona while Spain face off against Senegal in Madrid as the round gets under way on Saturday.

Neither are expected to be overly challenged as many feel they are destined for a rematch of the 2012 Olympic gold medal game in the final.

Australia will square off against Turkey in the final match of the round on Sunday.

The Boomers, who are the best three-point shooting team in the tournament, secured a spot on the opposite side of the draw to powerhouse USA after resting two of their top players in their final group game and suffering a shock loss to Angola.

An intriguing match-up on Saturday pits France against Croatia in a game of teams who were up and down in the group stage.

France limped into the knockout stage after being blown out in the second half against Spain in the penultimate Group A game.

Croatia meanwhile needed to beat Puerto Rico just to stay in the tournament – before eventually getting second place in Group B.

The winner of that game will take on Spain or Senegal in the quarter-finals.

On Sunday, Madrid hosts a European showdown between undefeated Greece and up-and-down Serbia, the latter who finished last in Group A but have the talent to finish on the podium.

The other Sunday game in Madrid has Argentina taking on South American rivals Brazil in a rematch of the same game at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, where Argentina won to reach the quarter-finals.

The Greece v Serbia winner will get the Argentina v Brazil victor in the quarters.

In Barcelona, the winner between the United States and Mexico will face the winner of the Dominican Republic v Slovenia game.

The first Sunday game in Barcelona has Group D winners Lithuania playing heavy underdogs New Zealand, who took fourth at the 2002 Worlds and are playing on house money as they barely made it to the knockout stage.

The quarter-finals will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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