May 27, 2012; Chester, PA, USA; USA forward Abby Wambach -20- celebrates her goal with teammates midfielder Lauren Cheyney -12-, against China during the second half of match at PPL Park. USA defeated China, 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
London Olympic coverage Thursday has a theme: U.S. powerhouses in some pretty big matchups. The top action comes primarily from female U.S. athletes ready to add to America's all-important medal count. All times E.T.:
10 a.m. on NBC: Russia isn't the Olympic power is used to be. But its synchronized swimmers are feared. And in live coverage, they face some synchronized swimmers who just happen to be from - wait for it - the U-S-A!
11:30 a.m. on NBC Sports Network: Live coverage of U.S. women's basketball team playing Australia, a plucky country with less than 10% the population of the U.S. that has lost to the U.S. squad in the sport's last three Olympic title games. Aussies, we're buds. But we can't show mercy on this one. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
2:15 p.m on NBC Sports Network: A big one in anybody's book. The U.S.-Japan women's soccer final, in live coverage rematch of the 2011 World Cup final. U-S-A!! U-S-A!
3 p.m. on NBC: The U.S. women's water polo team goes for its first Olympic goal versus Spain. U-S-A!
8 p.m. on NBC: Even for first-time Olympic viewers, everybody has to know the drill by now: NBC holds what it deems to be the most-mediagenic action - and they do consumer research on this to the umpteenth degree - until it can be unveiled in primetime. (Although don't expect things to be as tidy in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, where local time will be just one hour ahead of U.S. Eastern time and primetime will likely be a more disorganized collection of live and taped action.) Thursday's night primetime includes the men's 200-meter run, the U.S. women's volleyball semifinal against Brazil and a women's platform diving final.
Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY