We’re getting closer to the start of the Olympics in Rio and the several weeks of competition that will happen during that multi week quadrennial sporting event eagerly anticipated by the sports fans of the world.
One of the team sports that matters to Americans is basketball, and right now the men’s and women’s teams are on a roll and are prohibitive favorites for the top step of the medal platform when the Rio Olympic basketball tournament tips off on August 6 through August 21.
The USA women will be shooting (pun intended) for their sixth straight Olympic title since 1996, while the underachieving men’s team will be vying for their third straight title.
We already know what group each team will be in because of the FIBA Olympic Draw Ceremony that took place at The House of Basketball FIBA headquarters in Switzerland back on March 11 even though the Women’s and Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments haven’t happened yet.
The FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament will take place in Nantes, France June 13-19 and will determine the last five women’s Olympic basketball tournament spots among a dozen contenders.
The FIBA Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament will take place at three sites, Belgrade, Turin, and Manila from July 4-10.to determine which eighteen contenders get the last three Olympic men’s tournament spots.
The women’s Olympic tournament will take place from August 6-20, and the defending Olympic champion USA will be in Group B. Group A will consist of the number 5 WOQT team, Japan, Brazil, Australia, WOQT 3 and WOQT 1.
Group B on the women’s side will consist of Canada, WOQT 4, USA, Senegal, Serbia and WOQT 2
The men’s Olympic tournament will also start on August 6, with the gold medal match happening on August 21. The USA men will be in Group A with the MOQT 1 winner, USA, Venezuela, MOQT 2, China and Australia.
Group B on the men’s side is shaping up to be the ‘Group of Death’, and will consist of Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Lithuania, MOQT 3 and Nigeria
Both tournaments will have a group phase in which they play the teams in their group. Top four team advance to the knockout phase and what the eight survivors of group play hope will end up with them standing on the top step of the Olympic medal platforms.
But we will have to wait until this summer to find out how this basketball dram plays out.