02 Aug 12
Mohamed Hadidane, a power forward for Tunisia, asked Bryant to sign his right sneaker after the game. That pretty much summed this one up. Want more? The U.S. shot 61%, Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony led the team with 16 points apiece and all 12 Americans scored. Anthony Davis, the soon-to-be NBA rookie, made all five of his shots and finished with 12 points. The only second-half drama involved the astronomical 54-point opening betting line, per the online sportsbook Bovada. Tunisia, the reigning FIBA Africa champion, ended up covering the spread.
Tunisia has done the seemingly impossible, crushing Angola in the 2011 Afrobasket championship game 67-56. With the win, Tunisia earns a spot in the 2012 London Olympics. Angola will now be forced to qualify via a last-chance tournament in July 2012, at which three bids are up for grabs. Those bids tend to fall into European hands. The level at which this result is unexpected is astounding. Angola had won every African championship since 1997 (when it took bronze thanks to a semifinal loss to host Senegal), and, excepting that loss, had taken Africa in every tournament since 1989 — more than two decades of rarely disputed dominance. Before this tournament, Angola hadn’t lost a single game in African competition in a decade. (By contrast, this was Tunisia’s first championship game since 1965.)