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Preview: USA Women’s 3x3 National Championship tips off Friday

The two-day tournament features 18 teams made up of current and former collegiate athletes led by the reigning national champions from Oregon.

Last year, an Oregon team made up of Oti Gildon, Erin Boley, Ruthy Hebard and Sabrina Ionescu took the national title. With three of four players returning this year, can the Ducks do it again?
Courtesy of Oregon Women’s Basketball via Twitter

For the first time ever, 3x3 basketball is coming to the Olympics in 2020. And if you’re not familiar with 3x3, this weekend’s USA Women’s 3x3 National Championship is as good a time as any to learn more about this version of basketball.

The Oregon Ducks are set to return three of four players from last year’s national championship-winning squad, but 12 other strong college programs are also sending teams, including UConn, Mississippi State and Louisville.

Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s tournament, including how to watch Saturday night’s championship game:

About the tournament

USA Basketball has put on the 3x3 national championships in every year since 2012. In every iteration but 2017, the United States sent a team to the FIBA 3x3 World Cup. While the national championship-winning team is generally that team that goes on to represent the U.S. in international competition, every athlete is technically in contention. This year, athletes will be playing to represent the U.S. in 3x3 at the 2019 Pan American Games.

Teams make the national tournament either by invitation from USA Basketball (the 13 college teams below) or by winning a qualifying tournament (the three non-college teams below). There are also eight current collegiate players who submitted successful applications to USA Basketball and will be organized into the final two teams prior to the tournament.

Preliminary games will take place all day Friday and on Saturday morning, with the knockout rounds beginning Saturday afternoon and concluding with the championship on Saturday night.

About 3x3 basketball

  • Teams play on a half court, shooting toward the same basket.
  • There is one 10-minute period, a 12-second shot clock and one 30-second timeout available.
  • Shots outside the arc and free throws are worth one point; shots outside the arc are worth two points.
  • The first team to score 21 points — or the team with the most points when time expires — wins. In overtime, the first team to score two points wins.

Full rules can be found here.

Participating teams

Here are the 18 teams competing in the national championships. Each is made up of four current players (or players graduating this year) from the listed school unless otherwise noted:

  • Arizona State
  • Connecticut (3 UConn, 1 USF)
  • DePaul
  • Iowa State
  • LA Dream Team (former players — UCLA, CSUN, Southern Utah, Colorado)
  • Louisville
  • Maryland
  • Miami
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi State
  • NC State
  • Oregon
  • Stanford
  • Still Ballin’ (former players — Olympic CC, Chico State, Olympic CC/Evergreen, Western Washington)
  • Texas
  • WAC (former players — Bellevue, Santa Clara, Georgia Tech, Ferris State)
  • Two additional teams to be determined (made up of the eight non-roster invitees)

Complete rosters can be found here.

How to watch

Only the championship is available to watch online, with viewing info below. Find the full tournament schedule here.

If you happen to be in Las Vegas, all games take place outside at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center and are free to attend.

USA Women’s 3x3 National Championship Game

When: Saturday, May 4, at 10 p.m. PT / 1 a.m. ET

Where: Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: