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.
Sunday — U.S. vs. Canada, bronze-medal game, 4:30 a.m. EDT; Germany vs. Serbia, gold-medal game, 8:40 a.m. EDT.
—In the U.S.: The bronze-medal game against Canada will not be aired on U.S. television. It will be available on streaming services in the U.S., as will the gold-medal game between Serbia and Germany.
Germany, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, is a 1.5-point favorite over Serbia in the gold-medal game. The U.S. is a 6.5-point favorite over Canada in the bronze-medal matchup.
What you need to know about the Basketball World Cup, and the U.S. road to getting here:
— Serbia tops Canada, Germany tops the U.S. in semifinals
— The World Cup semifinals are here
— U.S. rolls past Italy to make World Cup semifinals
—A preview of the World Cup quarterfinals
— U.S. falls to Lithuania to close second-round play
— Anthony Edwards talks the talk, and more than backs it up for the U.S.
— U.S. rallies past Montenegro to open play in Round 2
—Early U.S. wins: U.S. runs past Jordan to finish perfect in opening group play, U.S. beats Greece in second game, U.S. tops New Zealand in opening game
— The Americans are using lots of depth to their advantage
— For Erik Spoelstra, this trip to Manila is very much like a homecoming
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.
“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.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports