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Six Things You Need to Know About Olympic Basketball

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For those of you wanting to learn a little more about the rules and tournament structure of Olympic basketball, we've scoured the internet looking for the simplest explanation we could find because because it should be fun and not confusing. Here's what you need to know for this year's games.

When does Olympic basketball start?

The tournaments begin on Saturday, August 6 and conclude on Sunday, August 21.

How many teams are there? 
There are two tournaments, one for men and one for women. Each tournament is made up of 12 teams.

Who can play?
For men's and women's basketball teams at the Olympics, rosters are limited to 12 players. For the seventh time, professionals are eligible to compete at the Games. Prior to 1992, only amateurs were allowed to compete.

How many players are there?: 
Five players per team are on the court at one time.

Game Duration:
Each game will consist of four ten-minute quarters. If the score is tied after four quarters, the game will continue with as many extra periods as are necessary to break the tie. Each overtime period will be five minutes in length.

Tournament format: 

The men's and women's tournament abide by the same format and rules.

In the preliminary round, the 12 teams will be divided into two groups of six with each team in the group playing each other one time. A team earns two points for a win, one point for a loss and zero points for a forfeit.

After the group stage is completed, the four teams in each group with the most points advance to the quarterfinals. The bottom four teams, two from each group, will be eliminated from play and placed in the final standings in accordance with FIBA rules.

If two teams from the same group finish tied in points after the preliminary round, the result of their head-to-head matchup in group play will serve as a tie-breaker. If three or more teams finish the group stage tied, the rankings will be determined by the results of head-to-head games played between them. Then, if necessary, the combined point differential (from in-game play, not points awarded for wins/losses) of the games played between the tied teams will be used to break the tie.

After the preliminary round, the tournament will follow a knockout format for the quarterfinals, semifinals, bronze medal game and gold medal game. In the quarterfinals, the winner will advance and the loser will be eliminated from competition. In the semifinals, the winner will advance to the gold medal game and the loser will play for the bronze medal.

Now that you know the rules of the game, get ready to root for your country's team *cough* USA *cough*

Finally, in honor of the 2016 Olympics, we're giving our fans 10% off all of our products beginning today and ending August 21! Just use the code GO4GOLD at checkout to receive your discount.

    Information via nbcolympics.com

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