Basketball: U.S. golden run set to continue at Tokyo 2020

Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:26pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Geno Auriemma, coach of the U.S. women's Olympic gold medal-winning basketball team, says he is constantly reminded that, "It's not whether you win or lose -- until you lose".

And that is easy to forget when losing is something you rarely experience.

The U.S. women rubber-stamped their credentials as an Olympic dynasty when they claimed a sixth straight gold on Saturday with a 101-72 rout of Spain that ran their Games winning record to a staggering 49-0.

Only two other teams can claim such a run of domination at the Olympics.

The U.S. men's basketball team earned seven consecutive gold medals from 1936-1968 while India claimed six straight men's field hockey titles from 1928-1956.

On Sunday, the American men's squad delivered an equally ruthless performance in crushing Serbia 96-66 to collect their third straight gold, extending their unbeaten run on Olympic hardwood to 25-0.

Without many of their top players, including LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the United States was more "B Team" than "Dream Team" but still finished 8-0.

The United States gave fans glimpses of their dominant best in Rio but their play did not always live up to the high expectations that follow them to every Olympics.   Continued...

Aug 21, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; USA celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's basketball gold medal match during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1. Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports