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Olympic Viewer's Guide: Saturday, August 4

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
Saturday is the biggest crossover between two of the most popular Olympic events: track and swimming. (US Presswire)

Trying to watch the Olympics? Even with NBC now streaming every event live online, the wild array of events -- and difficulty in finding live events, for anyone like us not interested in avoiding spoilers all day -- can make the television viewing experience a bit bewildering.

But we're here to help. Here's our chronological list of the events U.S. Olympic fans should consider watching, and where, for Saturday, Aug. 4. All times Eastern and all events are live action unless otherwise noted. (A note to Mountain and Pacific viewers: all events shown on NBC will be on a one-hour delay. Sorry.) Many of the secondary events are also highly subject to change.

Here's what awaits you Saturday:

denotes medal event.

Featured Events

9 a.m.: Women's singles championship, NBC.

Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova for the gold. Venus Williams took gold in this "event" 12 years ago. Serena opted not to compete in Beijing. It's like a little bonus major for diehard tennis fans, who've no doubt gotten their money's worth of real competition and drama at this year's Games. It's also the first Games for Sharapova.

11:30 a.m.: Men's doubles championship, NBC Sports Network.

The American Bryan brothers duo, you know, Mike and Bob, are trying to become the first U.S. men's pair to win gold in 24 years. In Beijing, these fellas took bronze. They'll play against France's men's doubles team of Michael Llodra and Jo Wilfried Tsonga. It has been exactly a century since a France men's doubles team has won a gold.

9:30 a.m.: United States men vs. Lithuania, NBC Sports Network.

The U.S. is obviously gonna cruise, but it's now reaching the point where we're all wondering how bad the beatdown is going to be. I don't know. I think we're going to see games stay under 40-point deficits from here on out. On a certain level, I wonder if Coach K and the team aren't aware that they're just making a -- and I say this respectfully -- mockery of the competition. The blowouts here are good fodder, but I think our guys take it down a notch. Well, everyone except Carmelo.

11:45 a.m.: U.S. men vs. Russia, NBC.

Are you aware our men's indoor volleyball team is the defending gold medal champs? We're still in group play here, but a win for the U.S. sets it up with the best possible seeding come single-elimination/bracket play.

11:15-11:45 a.m., preliminaries, NBC (tape-delay)

Prelims live on NBCOlympics.com:

5 a.m.: Men's 100-meter (Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin). Otherwise known as: Usain Bolt's race. But how will he run in the prelims?

5:35 a.m.: Men's 400-meter (Bryson Nellum, Tony McQuay, Lashawn Merritt). This event is also one Oscar Pistorious will run in. It's uncertain whether or not he'll move past the preliminary rounds.

All events listed below are medal events except for the 400-meter women's semis.

Noon: Men's 20-kilometer walk (Trevor Barron)

2:30 p.m.: Women's discus throw (Stephanie Brown Trafton)

2:55: Men's long jump (Will Clay, Marquise Goodwin)

3:05: Women's 400-meter semis (Sanya Richards-Ross, Francena McCorory)

3:35: Women's heptathlon (Way too many to list)

4:15: Men's 10,000-meter final (Matt Tegenkamp, Dathan Ritzenhein, Galen Rupp), live on NBC.

4:55: Women's 100-meter final (Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter, Tianna Madison). This is a big one. Felix could win, and she's in the race due to the controversial outcome in the wake of the U.S. Trials last month. Possibly on MSNBC (no confirmation on details of specific track events yet).

(Some re-broadcast on NBC's prime-time special at 8 p.m.)

2:30 p.m., men's and women's finals, NBCOlympics.com

As usual, swimming will anchor NBC's primetime coverage, but if you don't want to wait, go online to watch the following medal finals, with U.S. swimmers in parentheses. And a quick note here: This will be the final time Michael Phelps swims in an Olympic event. So, yeah, you'll want to be sure to watch it, whether live or on tape later that night:

2:30 p.m.: Women's 50 free (Jessica Hardy)

2:36 p.m.: Men's 1,500 free (Connor Jaeger)

3:07 p.m.: Women's 4x100 medley relay (Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, Jessica Hardy)

3:27 p.m.: Men's 4x100 medley relay (Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen, Phelps, Nathan Adrian)

(Broadcast on NBC's prime-time special at 8 p.m.)

4 p.m.: United States women vs. the Netherlands, NBCOlympics.com.

The famous American power duo of Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor plays against Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel of the Netherlansd. It's a Round of 16 match, and this is when things start to get tougher for the best duo in the history of women's beach volleyball.

5 p.m.: United States men vs. Russia, NBC.

Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal are the men's pair left, the lesser power of the two, as Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser unexpectedly got knocked out by the No. 15-seeded Italians on Friday. Gibb/Rosenthal play against Russia's Konstantin Semenov and Sergey Prokopyev. (These names are killing me.)

Also worth watching:

10 a.m.: Women's shooting (trap), NBCOlympics.com

Another event with a loaded field that gets whittled quickly. All you need to know: Kim Rhode, who's already won a gold -- her fifth straight Games with a gold -- is participating.

2:15 p.m.: Women's team epee, NBCOlympics.com

The U.S. is still alive! One of eight teams left. Yes, this all happens very quickly. The quarters of the epee will begin before dawn on the East Coast, but the final you can catch a little bit after lunchtime.

2:40 p.m., U.S. men vs. Serbia, NBC.

America's got a shot at the gold, no doubt, but Serbia should pose a challenge. That's what they tell me, anyway. Have you seen these guys yet in the water? Brutality. As physical as football, almost.

12:42 p.m.: Women's cycling team finals, NBCOlympics.com.
Hey, it's the only event inside the Velodrome that's got a medal on the line. I can't get enough of these maniacs on the bikes and their crazy tactics. The event is specifically referred to as "women's team pursuit," a sociological strategy I'm entirely unfamiliar with. This will air on tape-delay at 2 p.m. on NBC.

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