Tokyo Olympics basketball 2021 schedule: games, dates, bracket
Sunday 25 July sees the start of the men's basketball at the Tokyo Olympics with the women's competition getting underway the following day.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics basketball competition commences on 25 July when 24 teams (12 in the men's competition and 12 women's tournament) embark on their journey for a place on the podium.
There will be three groups composing four teams with each team playing their group opponent once. Eight teams will progress from the three groups with the top two nations advancing with the two best third-placed teams also progressing to the quarter-final stage.
The quarter-finals for the men's competition commence on 3 August with the corresponding round in the women's competition getting underway the following day. The consecutive semi-final and final games will be played with a two day interval.
The final for the men's competition will take place at the Saitama Super Arena on 7 August. The Saitama venue will also stage the final of the women's competition the following day with the reigning gold medal holders USA in both men's and women's competition very much the pre-tournament favorites to retain their crown.
French President Emmanuel Macron exchanged fist bumps with first lady Jill Biden after the U.S. women’s team won 17-10 against No. 1 ranked France in 3x3 basketball during the sport's Olympic debut at #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/bSIo90GOs3 pic.twitter.com/Br8uLPbfWM— Reuters (@Reuters) July 24, 2021
Men's 2020 Olympic basketball - groups
Group A: Iran, France, USA, Czech Republic
Group B: Australia, Germany, Italy, Nigeria
Group C: Argentina, Japan, Spain, Slovenia
Women's 2020 Olympic basketball - groups
Group A: South Korea, Serbia, Spain, Canada
Group B: Nigeria, Japan, United States, France
Group C: Australia, China, Puerto Rico, Belgium
US Men gunning for fourth successive gold
The United States men's basketball team will begin their pursuit of a fourth successive Olympic title on Sunday with an intriguing match-up against a French squad led by a man the Americans will know well -- Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert.
Spearheaded by double Olympic champion Kevin Durant, the Americans have endured a bumpy lead-up to Tokyo as they were unexpectedly beaten by Nigeria and Australia.
But they made sure they arrived at the Games in the right frame of mind by beating Argentina and Spain, the 2019 World Cup winners, in their last two exhibition games before flying to Tokyo.
Since 1992 the United States have dominated the Olympics, with the "Dream Team" that included the likes of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson beginning a run in which the U.S. men captured six of the next seven Olympic titles.
But the 2-2 record in the build-up to Tokyo have raised questions on whether the U.S. can continue their Olympic reign.
On Sunday, the Americans will face a French team that outclassed them in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup, a result that condemned the U.S. to their worst result in a major international competition.
France also boasts some NBA pedigree. Along with centre Gobert, a three-time league defensive player of the year, the French can also count on Boston Celtics forward Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum of the Los Angeles Clippers.
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