We are not getting the match-up that most experts expected in today’s gold medal game in Barcelona. Joffrey Lauvergne, Evan Fournier, and Team France upset the Gasol brothers and Spain in the quarterfinals, but France fell in the semi-finals to Serbia 90-85.

So, we have Team USA facing Serbia today at 1:00 pm MT on ESPN 2. Kenneth Faried has been starting and will get a chance to capture gold.

I don’t know any of the guys on the Serbian squad, but they handled a talented French team featuring Nic Batum, the resurged Boris Diaw, Denver’s own Lauvergne, and former Nugget Fournier. It has been good seeing Faried get some nation-wide love, even if the rest of the nation is slow to catch on to The Manimal.

The exposure hasn’t gone unnoticed by Faried, he hinted that the respect he has received could come into play with his contract extension talks with the Nuggets in a recent Q&A with Marc Stein:

Q: How can you really resist thinking about the contract stuff?
A: I'm not worried about [the Oct. 31 deadline for a contract extension] right now. After this is over with, then I'll focus on what's going on outside of just stepping on the court and moneywise and things like that. [But] I do feel as though I've opened eyes, and people are starting to show respect now. So that's a great honor to have and recognize who you are.

Let's worry about that extension later, enjoy the game today! Go USA!