Yesterday afternoon/morning/night/whatever, the United States women's basketball team beat Angola 90-38. That is a curb stomping if there ever was one. The 1992 Dream Team famously beat Angola 116-48 — this was the game that inspired Charles Barkley's "I don't know who Angola is, but they're in trouble" quote — but you can make an argument that, considering the pace and rules of women's basketball, yesterday's women's win was just as impressive. Everyone's all excited about the men's team (which plays at 5:15 EDT today, by the way), but while we were all debating whether or not Carmelo should play the four or the five, the women's team has gone out and put together perhaps the best multi-Olympic run in U.S. sports history.
Don't get too caught up in yesterday's game, which barely counted as basketball by the time it was over. (The official recap puts it gently: "Capitalizing on a size and speed advantage, the U.S. tallied 40 points in the paint and raced to 23 fast-break points as all 11 available U.S. players had scored by the 4:06 mark in the third quarter." Associated Press style is so great.) Just look at the history.
The American women have won the last four Olympic gold medals, dating back to 1996 in Atlanta, and other than a blip from the "Unified Team" in 1992, they've won six of the last seven. (They had no chance in 1980 because of all that boycottin'.) As Alex Wolff of SI.com — who has become the single most pleasant writer to read from this year's Olympics, by the way — noted, that would make the U.S. women's basketball team the first team to win five consecutive team gold medals in Olympic history.
That's a crazy accomplishment. It's one the men's team could have boasted had the 2004 Athens disaster not happened. And as Wolff points out, nobody's noticing it at all. This is partly because women's basketball is hardly as high-profile as men's basketball, obviously. But it's certainly at the level — above, you'd think — of women's soccer, and people are yakking about Hope Solo and that team every chance they get. The only press the women's team is getting involves coach Geno Auriemma being sued for allegedly advancing on one of his security people.
The women's team has a legitimate Dream Team of current WNBA players, from Sue Bird to Maya Moore to Candace Parker to Tamika Catchings. They'll destroy Turkey tomorrow night en route to yet another gold. The United States dominates women's basketball. Someone may someday notice.