When it comes to global women’s basketball, there’s the United States and then there’s everybody else.
The U.S. women’s basketball team has not only won the last six Olympic gold medals (as well as eight of a possible 11 all time), but it’s done so in dominant fashion.
Team USA entered the Tokyo Olympics on a 49-game Olympic winning streak, with its last loss coming in the semifinals of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. That 1992 Olympic defeat is one of just three all time for the U.S. women’s team, which sports a 66-3 record in the Games.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Team USA had an average margin of victory of 37.25 points and beat Spain in the gold medal game by 29 points.
Here’s everything you need to know as Team USA eyes another run to the top of the Olympic podium:
How can I watch Team USA women’s basketball games?
The U.S. women’s basketball games will be streamed on the NBC Sports app, NBCOlympics.com 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.
The women’s basketball competition at the Tokyo Olympics runs from Sunday, July 25, through Saturday, Aug. 7. All women’s and men’s basketball games will be held at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The U.S. women’s team began its quest for a seventh straight gold on July 27 with a preliminary round wins against Nigeria, Japan and France. Team USA then cruised to a quarterfinal win over Australia on Wednesday, setting up a semifinal against Serbia at 12:40 a.m. ET on Friday.
The top two teams from each of the three four-team groups, as well as the two best third-place teams, qualified for the quarterfinals. The semifinals follow on Aug. 6.
The women’s gold medal game is set for Aug. 7 at 10:30 p.m. ET, with the bronze medal game scheduled for earlier in the day at 3 a.m. ET.
Who is on the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team in 2021?
Team USA’s women’s basketball roster has an equal mix of Olympic veterans and first-timers in 2021.
There are six players from the 2016 gold medal squad who will be competing in Tokyo, including 39-year-old Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and 40-year-old Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird. The pair of guards can make history this summer as the first athletes to win five straight Olympic gold medals in a team event and the first basketball players to capture five total gold medals.
Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (fourth Olympic appearance), Washington Mystics center Tina Charles (third appearance), Storm forward Breanna Stewart (second appearance) and Mercury center Brittney Griner (second appearance) are the other returning players.
There are six other Team USA members making their Olympic debuts, headlined by former WNBA MVP and Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson. Wilson and Storm guard Jewell Loyd, a fellow Olympic first-timer, were part of the 2018 FIBA World Cup-winning women’s squad.
Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, Aces guard Chelsea Gray, Lynx forward Napheesa Collier and Mystics guard Ariel Atkins round out the roster.
The University of Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma stepped down as Team USA head coach following the 2016 Games. Over a seven-year tenure, Auriemma coached the United States to two Olympic gold medals, two FIBA World Cup championships and a 31-0 record in official competitions.
Dawn Staley took over for Auriemma and is making her Olympic head coaching debut in Tokyo. But the University of South Carolina women’s basketball coach is no stranger to the Games. Staley won three Olympic gold medals as a player for Team USA and another two as an assistant coach.
Is Team USA favored to win in women’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympics?
Team USA entered as a heavy favorite to take home gold yet again at -1112, according to our partner, PointsBet. Australia was seen as one of the teams with the best shot at upsetting the U.S., but as Wednesday’s quarterfinal showed, Team USA is still the team to beat.
Editor’s note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.