France take on Serbia in the semifinals of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, in what is a rather unexpected clash.
USA thrashed Lithuania 96-68 in the first semifinal, and await the winner of France versus Serbia.
The two countries have mostly played tight matches in the past. Even their head-to-head record, which stands at 74-73 in France's favour, does not give a clear picture of who would come out on top tonight.
However, France are tipped to be the slight favourites in this encounter after they raised a few eyebrows by beating host nation Spain in the quarterfinals. France trumped Spain 65-52, earning them an unexpected spot in the semis, alongside the Serbs.
Ironically, Spain's defeat comes in the wake of Spanish daily Marca calling for their national team to "destroy" France. However, the French, who were missing some of their key players like Tony Parker, were impressive on the night, breezing past the Spaniards.
Spain, like the 2007 European Championship campaign - which they hosted, choked in the quarterfinals. In 2007, Spain had crashed out against Russia.
Spanish star Paul Gasol had never lost to the French side in his career before this game. However, France seems to have shattered the NBA star's record.
Serbia, on the other hand, thrashed Brazil 84-56 in their quarterfinal tie, to make it to their fourth semifinal in five World Cups. Milos Teodosic was the protagonist of the Serbian team, netting 23 points, while Bogdan Bogdanovic (12), Miroslav Radujica (10) and Nenad Krstic (10) also chipped in with crucial points for the victory.
It was the same old story for the Brazilians, however, as the loss to Serbia makes this their seventh straight failure to reach the semifinals of the FIBA World Cup. Marquinhos Vieira and Anderson Varejao, both of whom scored 12 points each, were the only two Brazilians to score double digits, in an otherwise disappointing night for the Brazilians.
While the French will be looking to carry their momentum forward, to be in the finals, the Serbs will be looking to finally break their semifinal jinx and go one better (at least) this time around.
Where to Watch
The semifinal is scheduled for a 4pm EDT (1.30 am IST) start, with live coverage on Neo Sports and Neo Prime in India. International viewers, including Indians, can live stream the action HERE. Viewers in the US can catch the action on ESPN or live stream the match online HERE.