The United States' nearly 13-year dominance in the international men's basketball came to a shocking crash Saturday when Team USA suffering its first defeat since 2006 at the hands of Australia.
The Aussies rallied to pull off the 98-94 upset in front of 52,000 people during a World Cup exhibition game at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne - snapping the American men's 78-game win streak in major international tournaments and exhibitions. It was the first time the Australians had ever beaten the Americans.
The U.S. is currently No.1 in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rankings, but because many of the top NBA stars have opted out of playing this summer - including LeBron James, James Harden, and Steph Curry - they're not as strong as earlier years.
Australia's Andrew Bogut, left and United States Donovan Mitchell, right compete for the ball during their exhibition basketball game in Melbourne on Saturday. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
The last time the Americans — counting major international tournaments and exhibitions with NBA players on the floor — lost a game was the semifinals of the 2006 world championships. The program has won gold in every competition since, including three straight in the Olympics and two consecutive World Cup titles.
"Some of it is expected with a new group that's trying to learn about each other and learn a system," U.S. coach Gregg Popovich told reporters after the game. "So it's not surprising. But the Aussies gave us a great lesson as far as where we want to be and how you have to play in this kind of competition."
He added: "Nobody wins forever."