|Wednesday, July 30
Argentina in the other half of the draw
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The United States will open next month's Olympic qualifying tournament with a game against Brazil and will not face Argentina -- one of the teams that defeated it last summer -- until the second round.
The United States was placed in a group with Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday as the draw was held for the FIBA-Americas men's qualifying tournament for the 2004 Olympics.
The other group consists of Argentina, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Uruguay.
The tournament will begin Aug. 20 with a game between Argentina, the silver medalist at last summer's world championships, facing Mexico. The U.S. team's game against Brazil will start 7½ hours later at 10 p.m. ET.
The U.S. team will play the Dominican Republic on Aug. 21, Venezuela on Aug. 22 and the Virgin Islands on Aug. 23.
Second-round games begin Aug. 25 after two teams are eliminated. The semifinals will be held Aug. 30, with the bronze and gold medal games set for Aug. 31.
The bronze medal game could be the biggest of the tournament, as only three teams will earn berths for Athens 2004.