The game of 3-on-3 basketball is being featured on the Olympic stage for the first time ever in 2021. Basketball fans will get a double dosage of hoops in Tokyo thanks to the beginning of this unique basketball style of competition.
The game consists of three plays on a team competing on a half basketball court. The objective is to be the first team to score 21 points, or have the lead at the end of the 10 minutes. Made baskets are worth one point inside the three-point line and two-points beyond the arc.
While the U.S. does not have a men’s team competing in the event, the United States women’s team is looking to be the first ever Olympic gold medal women’s team in 3×3 basketball.
What is the TV schedule for 3-on-3 basketball at the Tokyo Olympics?
All 3×3 basketball games at the Tokyo Olympics will be aired on NBC and NBC-affiliated channels, including NBCSN, the Olympic Channel and Peacock.
More information on how to watch can be found on this full TV and live streaming schedule that includes 5,000-plus hours of Olympic coverage.
When does Team USA play 3-on-3 basketball in the Olympics?
There are eight teams competing in both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in 2021. Each team will play in a pool round against all seven of the other teams. After the pool play, the two teams advance to the semifinals, while the next four teams will play in a quarterfinals round.
The winner of the quarterfinals will play the top seeds in the semifinals. Those semifinal winners will play for gold, while the losers of the semifinals will compete for bronze.
Team USA won its first two contests, defeating France by a score of 17-10 and Mongolia by a score of 21-9.
Here is the remaining schedule for the U.S. women’s pool round.
- USA vs. Romania: Sunday, July 25, 4:30 p.m. ET (Stream)
- USA vs. ROC: Sunday, July 25, 8:25 a.m. ET (Stream)
- USA vs. Italy: Monday, July 26, 4:55 a.m. ET (Stream)
- USA vs. China: Monday, July 26, 8 a.m. ET (Stream)
- USA vs. Japan: Tuesday, July 27, 12:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
If Team USA is one of the top six teams after pool play, they will play in either the quarterfinals, or go straight to the semifinals if they are one of the top two teams. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Tuesday, July 27, at 7:30 a.m. ET and the semifinals will be Wednesday, July 28, at 4 a.m. ET.
The bronze medal game will take place Wednesday, July 28, at 7:45 a.m. ET. The men’s bronze game will play after, and then the women’s gold medal will take place to crown the first ever Olympic 3×3 basketball gold medal team.
NBC Olympics’ full viewing schedule can be found here.
Who is on the USA Olympic team for women’s 3-on-3 basketball?
Team USA consists of four current WNBA players who did not make the 5×5 team, but still will be headed to Tokyo. Those four are Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Katie Lou Samuelsson, who will all be competing in their first Olympics, but have extensive USA basketball experience.
Dolson, a member of the Chicago Sky, has been a member of USA basketball teams since 2013. She’s a two-time National Champion during her time at the University of Connecticut. Gray is also a National Champion, as she won the NCAA title in 2017 as a member of the University of South Carolina. She is a member of the WNBA’s Dallas Wings and also has experience on national teams at both the 5×5 and 3×3 level.
The only FIBA World Cup gold medalist on the team, Plum is a member of the Las Vegas Aces. As a star guard at the University of Washington, she finished her collegiate career as the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer with 3,527 points, and she has the NCAA single-season scoring record (1,109 points in 2016-17) and the NCAA career free throws record (912). Samuelsson will become the first USA Basketball player to compete in a Youth Olympic Games and an Olympic Games. She’s a member of the Seattle Storm and previously won a 3×3 gold medal at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
Duke coach Kara Lawson will be at the helm for the four-woman squad.
Who is the favorite to win 3-on-3 basketball at the Olympics?
While the U.S. enters with the best odds to win (+165) according to PointsBet, they’re followed closely behind by France and China. France enters as the current No. 1 ranked country in FIBA’s 3×3 Federation Rankings, and features four out of the top five ranked women in the FIBA 3×3 Individual World Ranking. France’s odds are set at +250 and China’s is at +300.
For the men, Serbia and Latvia are the two favorites, with Serbia at +150 and Latvia at +225.
Why isn’t Team USA competing in Olympic men’s 3×3 basketball?
Despite the United States dominating traditional basketball at the Olympics, Team USA failed to qualify for the men’s 3×3 basketball tournament in Tokyo. Not only did the U.S. not qualify, but the team failed to make it past the quarterfinals of qualifiers, losing to the Netherlands.
It’s the first time ever that an American basketball team has not qualified for an Olympic basketball event.