Women’s Olympic Basketball: Elimination Play is Set

Final Standings for the Field 

The preliminaries for Women’s Olympic Basketball and now complete and the elimination bracket is set. The top four teams from each Group will now advance to the bracket as Olympic basketball play begins on August 16 with the first game starting at 8 AM.

From Group A, Australia, France, Turkey and Japan will advance. Australia is the top team and finished with ten points after winning all five of their games. France, Turkey and Japan all finished with eight points each with secure spots two through four.

The United States, Spain, Canada and Serbia will move on for Group B. Team USA was the leader with ten points and finished undefeated. Spain came in second with nine points after going 4-1. Canada and Serbia claimed the final spots with eight and seven points respectively.

The interesting part of the Olympic basketball elimination rounds is how the teams are matched up. The top teams from each group match up against the bottom teams from the opposite group.

The top team from Group A, Australia, will face off with Serbia in the first game on Tuesday and Australia will be heavily favored. Spain and Turkey will matchup in game two and Team USA will take on Japan in game three. France and Canada will wrap up the night in the final game of the quarterfinals. The winners will advance to the semifinals after one day of rest and the losers will see an end to their Olympic basketball medal hopes.

Team USA Focus

Team USA had no problems rolling through Group B in Olympic basketball preliminary play, but the real challenge awaits as they enter the elimination rounds. In a “win or go home” format, the Americans will have to make sure to get the job done each game from here on out. The opening round of the elimination format will pit Team USA against Japan during the afternoon of the 16th. To understand what the Americans are facing, a side-by-side comparison of stats through preliminary play might provide some insight on what to expect.

Team USA averaged 104 points per game while shooting a 57.7% field goal percentage as a team. They shot 42.5% from outside the 3-point arc and 81.2% from the free throw line. It is no secret that the Americans are an offensive powerhouse in the Olympics.

Japan actually ranked fourth in scoring with 77.2 points per game. They managed to shoot 45.5% field goals, 38.5% from 3-point range and 87.5% from the free throw line. Japan was the most efficient team from the charity stripe in preliminary play.

An interesting stat to watch will be the turnover battle. Japan was actually the best team out of the entire field in not turning the ball over. Through five games, Japan averaged ten turnovers per game. On the other hand, Team USA averaged 14.6 turnovers.

However, Team USA often forces turnovers while averaging a field leading 11.6 steals per game. Japan averages far less with only 7.6 steals per game. When comparing steals to turnovers, the teams are tied with a steal/turnover ratio of 0.8.

While the offense will be there for Team USA, it will be important for them to force turnovers and keep Japan off the free throw line if they wish to walk away victorious. Team USA will be favored in this game, but the teams should make for an interesting matchup from a statistical viewpoint alone.

John Sill