Team USA just took their first hit in the Maccabi Games, losing to Russia in a squeaker. I can't find an explanation of the seeding and tiebreakers, but this doesn't necessarily mean that USA is out of gold medal contention. Consider:
- This is USA's first loss.
- Russia already lost once to Argentina.
- USA plays Argentina tomorrow.
- Argentina has not lost.
- Point margins favor USA in tiebreakers, and it's not even close.
Basically, if USA beats Argentina, a circular three-way tie is set up where wins and losses cannot resolve the tie. If margin of victory is the next tiebreaker, that would place USA in the semifinals for certain. But even if USA doesn't get the top slot from their side of the bracket, 2 teams from each bracket will play in the semis.
In short, if USA beats Argentina, they'll be in a 3-team mix for 2 slots in the semis. If they lose, USA is out of medal contention entirely.
[Note by hooper, 07/19/09 5:06 PM EDT ] The tiebreak is determined by margin of victory among the tied teams. Therefore, USA must beat Argentina by more than 4 points. (If the margin is exactly 4 points, I think USA still wins the tiebreak.)