October 1, 2000 - The U.S. team participated in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia and was coached by Rudy Tomjanovich. It won its first two games by lopsided margins, but faced more difficult competition thereafter. A preliminary game against Lithuania, the U.S. team won 85–76, marking the first time a team of professional American players failed to win by double digits. Two games later, in a 106–94 victory over France, Vince Carter pulled off one of the most famous dunks in basketball history, jumping over the 7 ft 2 in French center Frédéric Weis on his way to the basket. (The French media would dub Carter's feat le dunk de la mort—"the dunk of death".) A shock came in the semifinals when the United States defeated Lithuania by the close score of 85–83. Lithuanian star (and future NBA player, first with the Indiana Pacers and later with the Golden State Warriors) Šarūnas Jasikevičius missed a desperation 3 at the buzzer that would have won the game. The closeness of the semifinal game was so shocking that NBC took the unusual step of showing the gold medal game live rather than on tape delay. (The game started around 2 p.m. Sydney time on Sunday October 1, which is late Saturday evening in the USA. NBC originally planned to show the game almost 24 hours later during its Sunday prime time broadcast.) The USA won the gold medal against France in a close game, 85–75. Though the US went undefeated on its way to the gold medal, the team began to lose its aura of invincibility for the first time.
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