For the first time since Reggie Miller, Shaquille O'Neal and the rest of the 1994 team took the gold, the United States has won the FIBA World Championships. Pitted against host country Turkey, Team USA cruised to an 81-64 victory Sunday night. But while Team USA’s performance at the worlds was impressive enough to garner attention all on its own, what was more impressive was the fact that they won with a roster lacking a traditionally star-studded line-up.
As SI.com’s Jack McCullum explains, Team USA was poised to have the likes of such NBA power players as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony on its roster. But as each backed out for personal and professional reasons, the defense-oriented “B-Team” emerged as a young squad searching for their identity on the court. Though generally touted as the favorites to take the gold, Team USA worked diligently to prove its ability to mesh on the court and ultimately reaped the benefits of a strong defense and the offensive prowess of one Kevin Durant.
After an American victory on Turkish soil at the worlds, we turn our attention back to the U S of A for the men’s U.S. Open finals and the Jets-Ravens opener.
Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic (4 p.m. ET) – After Mother Nature caused the men’s U.S. Open final to be rained out Sunday, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will square off today at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The women’s competition wrapped up this weekend, with second-seeded Kim Clijsters taking her third U.S. Open title against Vera Zvonareva.
Jets vs. Ravens (7:00 p.m. ET) – The Gang Green will open their season tonight in the New Meadowlands Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens. Given Jets coach Rex Ryan’s bold Super Bowl predictions, his team will need to pull out all the stops tonight to save face as they take on Ray Lewis and company.
By The Numbers
231 – Number of individual rushing yards Texas RB Arian Foster managed against the Indiana Colt’s defense. Foster’s impressive yardage during the Texans’ 34-24 win was the most individual rushing yards ever allowed by the Colts franchise.
109 – Number of consecutive wins Penn State’s women’s volleyball team had notched prior to Saturday night’s loss against Stanford at the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic in Gainesville, Fla. The loss marked the first time Sept. 15, 2007 that the team had lost a match.
251 – Number of laps driver Denny Hamlin lead at this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Richmond. The victory locked in Hamlin’s number one seed for the upcoming Chase for the Championship which begins next Sunday at Loudon. Hamlin will compete against 11 other drivers in the 10-week, 10-race playoff.