Well, after one of the most awe-inspiring runs you'll ever see, it's finally official: the U.S. women's basketball team has won the gold medal, defeating Spain in the final round by a score of 101-72, and finishing off one of the most dominant Olympic runs of all time. And needless to say, there are plenty of great reactions to the U.S. women's basketball team, because the Americans were that damn good this year. Led by star guards Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, and Elena Della Donne, and all-world center Brittney Griner, this may very well go down as one of the most exceptional hoops squads in Olympic history, having dominated the field in a manner reminiscent of the famed men's "Dream Team" of 1992.
While there were a handful of moments early in games when the U.S. women jockeyed back-and-forth with their opponents, in the final tally, it was never close ― their narrowest margin of victory came against France, when they won by a comfortable 19 points. By contrast, it hasn't been such a smooth ride for the U.S. men's basketball team, who've survived more than a couple close calls to move on to the gold medal round. Simply put, the women have been the standard-bearers for American excellence in basketball this year, and that's nothing new ― Saturday marks their sixth straight gold medal.
In short, it's exactly the sort of towering athletic achievement that people all over the world are going to take notice of, and American Olympics fans everywhere can feel some sense of pride in. In fact, that's already obvious from some of the reactions that the team's brilliant run of play has inspired.
In the end, if you're looking for a measure of just how unstoppable this squad was, the point differential tells the tale. In eight games, Team USA outscored their opponents by a simply staggering average of 37.25 points per game. For some perspective, an average margin of victory in the low double-digits ― 10 points per game, say ― would be considered exceptional in a professional basketball league. And the American women have been thumping their opponents in Rio by nearly four times that amount.
Team Spain did play hard and with resilience in the final, to be clear ― while some teams like Senegal, China and Japan completely caved in against the Americans, seemingly hopeless against their best-in-the-world offense and stymied by their aggressive defense, the Spanish team gutted their way to a loss by only 29 points. I realize that crediting them for a moral victory runs the risk of sounding arrogant, but when the closest game Team USA ever played was a 19-point win, it's kind of hard not to.
Sadly, this does mean that you're all out of women's Olympic hoops for a full four years, when the team will head to Tokyo to try to make it seven straight. There's still one more game for the other side of USA basketball, however ― If you're interested to see whether the men follow suit and bring home Olympic gold, you won't have to wait very long. They'll be facing off against Serbia in the final on Sunday, with the tip-off scheduled for 2:45 p.m. ET.