The U.S.-Canada rivalry in men’s basketball has been one-sided. The teams have played 22 times in senior men’s official competition; the U.S. has a 21-1 record in those games.
It hasn’t always been as easy as it looks.
The teams will meet in the bronze-medal game at the World Cup in Manila on Sunday afternoon (4:30 a.m. EDT), and history suggests the matchup could be a close one. The U.S. has won nine games by 12 points or less — and is 7-0 against the Canadians in games decided by six points or less.
Canada’s lone win in the series came in 2005. The U.S. has gone 12-0 against Canada in either Olympic or World Cup competition.
U.S. forward Brandon Ingram’s World Cup appears to be over. Ingram missed the semifinal loss to Germany with an upper respiratory issue and is not expected to play in the bronze-medal game against Canada on Sunday.
Coming into the World Cup, the U.S. men’s program was a combined 35-3 all-time against Canada, Lithuania and Germany in official FIBA senior competition (excluding exhibitions).
The Americans need a win over Canada to avoid going 0-3 against those teams in this tournament.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Part of competition is you’re not going to win every time. You’re going to compete, do everything you can to win, but part of competition is accepting the fact that there’s going to be some heartbreak.” — U.S. coach Steve Kerr.