Basketball

Canadian women to conclude with toughest test as Olympic basketball schedule unveiled

FIBA released the basketball schedule for the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, with three Canadian women’s round-robin games set in stone. The men, meanwhile, would conclude their group play with a showdown against the U.S. — if they qualify.

Men would get 1st best-on-best Olympic showdown vs. U.S. — if they qualify

Canada's head coach Lisa Thomaidis and players react in the last minutes during a quarter-final game against France at the 2016 Olympics. On Monday, FIBA released the team's schedule for the upcoming Tokyo Games. (Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)

It's been 85 years since Canada won an Olympic basketball medal. By Aug. 7, that drought could be over.

FIBA released the basketball schedule for the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, with three Canadian women's round-robin games set in stone: July 26 against No. 8 Serbia (4:20 a.m. ET), July 29 against No. 19 Korea (9 p.m. ET) and Aug. 1 against No. 3 Spain (9 p.m. ET).

Canada placed eighth at the 2012 Games and followed up with seventh in 2016. Now, the team's stated goal is to reach the podium — despite having not been together in person since qualifying for Tokyo last February.

Twelve teams qualified for Tokyo, with the top eight from group play advancing to the quarter-finals on Aug. 4. The semifinals take place two days later, with the gold-medal game slated for Aug. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

In the quarters, the top four teams are placed in one group, the bottom four in another, and a random draw determines the matchups and ensuing bracket.

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Canadian men would conclude group play against U.S.

The Canadian men, meanwhile, have yet to qualify for Tokyo — their last-chance qualifier begins June 29 in Victoria, B.C., featuring five other teams including contenders like Greece and Turkey. Only the winner of that tournament will move on to the Olympics.

Should Canada, ranked 21st, claim that spot on home court, it'll begin the tournament with a matchup against No. 23 Iran on July 25 at 9 p.m. ET. But things would only get harder from there, as No. 6 France awaits July 28 at 8 a.m. ET.

After that, Canada would get its first-ever best-on-best Olympic showdown against the U.S. on July 31 at 8 a.m. ET.

Canada's men haven't gone to the Olympics since 2000, when they came just five points shy of upsetting France, which would up with silver, in the quarters.

The Canadian men won the country's lone Olympic medal at the 1936 Berlin Games when it took home bronze. That tournament was played on an outdoor dirt court, and there was no women's equivalent.

The playoff format for the men is the same as the women's, with the gold-medal game scheduled for Aug. 7 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Outside of Canada, the marquee men's game will take place on the first day of the tournament when the U.S. plays France on July 25. That game will occur three days after a possible Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

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