BEIJING, CHINA - MAY 10: Misty May-Treanor of the United States in action during the 2012 Swatch FIVB World Tour Beijing Grand Slam pool D match with Kerri Walsh against Nadine Zumkehr and Simone Kuhn of Switzerland in Chaoyang Park on May 10, 2012 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

London Olympics 2012: USA Works Toward Beach Volleyball Medals On MSNBC Tuesday

The United States' beach volleyball women are guaranteed a gold medal now that both squads—that is, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings and Jen Kessy and April Ross—are in the 2012 Olympics final.

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Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: TV Schedule, Watch Online, Live Updates And More

After effectively bothering fans across the United States for the past two weeks with its broadcasting of the London Olympics, NBC is changing courses somewhat for the Closing Ceremony. Rather than force viewers to watch on tape-delay, NBC is live-streaming the big finale of the Summer Games on its official website.

The Closing Ceremony, which is expected to a star-studded event, will still be broadcast on tape-delay for television viewers in all time zones, but now fans interested in actually watching the event live will have an option.

Every single event in the London Olympics has been streamed live on NBC's website other than the Opening Ceremony, and NBC appears to recognize the backlash that occurred when viewers were unable to watch that event live.

Instead of forcing viewers to watch a tape-delay, NBC will be live-streaming the Closing Ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday this time around. Those that prefer to watch it on television can do so if they're willing to wait a few hours, though.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.

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Olympics 2012 Basketball Final: LeBron James, Kevin Durant Win Gold For USA Vs. Spain

Kevin Durant scored 30 points on 8-18 shooting and LeBron James finished with 19 points and seven rebounds as Team USA pulled away from Spain in the fourth quarter and won their second consecutive gold medal by a final score of 107-100. The fourth-quarter breakout came after chippy second and third quarters put Spain ahead, but the 2012 London Olympics belonged to Durant, James, and Chris Paul, and this was finally no different.

Juan Carlos Navarro kept Spain in the game early—he finished with 21 points—but it was Pau Gasol's team in the end; he finished with 24 points. Marc Gasol's early foul trouble, though, might have been the difference maker; he was 7-9 with 14 points despite being forced to miss the third quarter with four fouls.

It was a fascinating game in spite of its weirdly insistent officiating, and it ended with Team USA continuing the Redeem-Team momentum that's been in place since they came back from their time in the international wilderness with a gold medal in Beijing 2008. With Mike Krzyzewski retiring as Team USA coach after this Olympics, it was a fitting end to an uplifting era in international basketball.

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London Olympics Beach Volleyball Finals Feature Two USA Teams, Two Guaranteed Medals

The 2012 London Olympics women's beach volleyball finals will earn Team USA a gold medal and a silver medal. China's still in competition for the bronze medal, but this is probably gristle enough for medal count hounds like your correspondent. The guarantee of national fame and fortune should allow us to focus, for a moment, on the actual narrative of the event and its athletes. The two American teams here are the all-time greats (and still undefeated in the Olympics) Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, looking for a third gold medal, and April Ross and Jen Kessy, who just beat the No. 1-ranked Brazilians and are in their first Olympics.

This isn't a passing of the torch scenario—Jen Kessy is the same age as Misty May-Treanor. It's a weird, fascinating contest between a team that's a win away from cinching a full share Olympics immortality and a team that's startled the beach volleyball world on its way from this website to its one chance at gold.

For constant updates on the 2012 Olympics in general and beach volleyball in particular, take a look at the national SB Nation Olympics hub.

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2012 Olympics Beach Volleyball Final: Misty May-Treanor And Kerri Walsh Jennings Part Of All-American Women's Final

In the 2012 London Olympics women's beach volleyball final—set to air in primetime at 7 PM CDT on NBC—the United States are guaranteed to win the gold and silver medals, thanks to semifinal wins from both stalwarts Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings and first-time Olympians Jen Kessy and April Ross. That leaves China in a position to win a bronze medal, but if Brazil can pull out a win in the bronze medal match (set to run live on NBC at 1 PM) the US will pull off a crucial two-medal gain in the 2012 Olympic medal count—which, hopefully, you're following as obsessively as we are.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings won the gold medal in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, but they weren't top-seeded on their way through the women's beach volleyball tournament in London. At 34 and 35 they're one match away from retiring undefeated in Olympic play.

All that's standing between them and that impressive feat, of course, are two more Americans. Kessy and Ross, in their first Olympics, upset the top-seeded Brazilian squad in the semifinals to get here. Which is some consolation for us medal count hounds, but probably not enough to keep May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings (that's two people) from worrying about finishing off their run flawlessly.

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London Olympics 2012: USA Works Toward Beach Volleyball Medals On MSNBC Tuesday

The 2012 London Olympics beach volleyball semifinals are scheduled to begin Tuesday at 11 AM CDT on MSNBC. The women's semifinals matches each feature American teams—the infamous Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings combo are the No. 3 seed, and they'll face No. 1-seeded Brazil; on the other side of the bracket, No. 4-seeded Jan Kessy and April Ross will take on Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China.

The Americans could make a three-medal swing on China—who currently leads in the medal count—if both sides win and China loses, but they represent the Americans' last chance at medals in beach volleyball; the U.S. men were eliminated in the quarterfinals—by Latvia, of all countries.

MSNBC's beach volleyball coverage runs from 11 AM-1 PM, according to NBC's current schedule. The men's semifinal moves to NBC at 3 PM, but I don't think I'll be able to watch it knowing that the Americans lost to Latvia, much as I admire their ability to recover from the economic disaster in Europe through gut-wrenching internal devaluation. At least, I think that was them.

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