Olympics: Faster, Higher, Stonger

Against the U.S. basketball teams, the world was second

Almost everyone, it seemed, had a pet theory of how and why the unthinkable could happen. The U.S. men's and women's basketball teams, so the reasoning went, might look invincible. But they were pickup squads, assembled in March and still learning one another's moves, matched against seasoned teams, in some cases professionals. They would play on the slightly different international court, under different rules; the men would face unfamiliar zone defenses that would force them to shoot from outside rather than dazzle with dunkmanship....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!