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Kara Lawson, US 3X3 On To Medal Round

By the time you read this, we’ll know if they’re playing for gold or bronze

BASKETBALL 3X3-OLY-2020-2021-TOKYO-USA-JPN
 Japan’s Stephanie Mawuli celebrates after wining at the end of the women’s first round 3x3 basketball match between USA and Japan at the Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, on July 27, 2021 during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 
Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Here’s a headline you won't see too often: Japan women shock undefeated U.S. in Olympic basketball

Okay, it’s 3x3 but still. The US and Japan live in entirely different basketball universes.

Fortunately it doesn’t much matter. The US, led by Duke coach Kara Lawson, is on to the medal round regardless and will play France early Wednesday morning (we’re not staying up for it).

If the US wins, it will move to to Gold Medal game vs. the winner of China vs. Russian Olympic Committee (if you don’t know, Russia was formally banned from the Tokyo games for PED abuses so the athletes are competing under the committee’s name).

The US has already beaten France, generally considered the favorite, so that’s probably a plus. The US also beat the French in World Cup play in May.

Doesn't mean they’re bound to win, but it might help.