What To Watch, Day 12: Showdown On The Sand, Quarterfinals Abound

As the 2012 Summer Olympics wind down -- only four days left after Wednesday! -- so too are the various tournaments. Day 12 brings with it the finals in women's beach volleyball, semifinals in women's field hockey, quarterfinals in men's volleyball, water polo handball and, of course, basketball.

On the track, decathlon gets under way with Day One competition, where American Ashton Eaton will begin his quest for a gold medal to go along with the world record he set in the event at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Additionally, medals are decided in men's 110m hurdles, women's long jump, women's 400m hurdles and the day's can't-miss event, the women's 200m, featuring one of the fastest fields ever assembled.

What To Watch Wednesday, August 7, at the 2012 Summer Olympics:

Men's Volleyball Quarterfinals, United States vs. Italy, 11 a.m. ET, NBC

If Team USA wants a shot at defending its gold medal from 2008, it will first have to get past Italy, the fourth-place team in Beijing. The winner moves on to the semifinals, where they'll likely meet Brazil, the No. 1 team in the world.

Men's Water Polo Quarterfinals, United States vs. Croatia, 3 p.m. ET, NBC

The United States, silver medalists in Beijing, drew a tough opening match-up in the quarterfinals -- not only is Croatia the No. 1 team in the world, but they won Group A in London with a perfect 5-0 record, outscoring their opponents 50-29.

Men's Basketball Quarterfinals, Team USA vs. Australia, 5:15 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Team USA went 5-0 in the qualifying round, outscoring their opponents by 191 points. Australia, meanwhile, went 3-2 -- in the Aussies' two losses, they scored a combined 141 points. The U.S. scored 156 points in one game. What's Australian for "blowout"? Winner gets Brazil or Argentina in the semis on Friday.

Women's 400m Hurdles, 8 p.m., NBC (LIVE at 3:45 p.m.)

All three members of Team USA -- T'erea Brown, Georganne Moline and Lashinda Demus, the 2011 World Champion -- advanced to the finals and will compete with Jamaica's Kaliese Spencer for gold.

Women's 200m, 8 p.m., NBC (LIVE at 4 p.m.)

The finals in women's 200m is yet another can't-miss track and field event. The talent among the eight running for gold is staggering:

  • Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, two-time defending Olympic gold medalist and 2011 World Champion
  • Allyson Felix (USA), two-time defending Olympic silver medalist, bronze medalist at the 2011 World Championships and owner of the fourth-fastest time ever in the event (Felix and Campbell-Brown went 1-2, respectively, at both the 2007 and 2009 World Championships)
  • American Carmelita Jeter, silver medalist from the 2011 World Championships, and silver medal winner in 100m at the 2012 Games
  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica), two-time gold medal winner in 100 meters (including London)
  • Sanya Richards-Ross (USA), current gold medalist in 400m after winning in London

Women's Beach Volleyball Gold Medal Match, 8 p.m. ET, NBC (LIVE at 4 p.m.)

For the first time since 2000, when the sport made its Olympic debut, the gold medal final in women's beach volleyball will pit teams from the same country against each other. In Sydney, it was Brazil vs. Brazil, but Wednesday night in London, it's Team USA meeting Team USA when Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh go for an unprecedented third-straight gold. Standing in their way is the duo of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy, fresh off their surprising upset of the No. 1 team in the world.

Men's 110m hurdles, 8 p.m. ET, NBC (LIVE at 4:15 p.m.)

Cuba's Dayron Robles continues the defense of his gold medal from Beijing in the semifinals (2:15 p.m. ET) before Wednesday night's finals. He'll face tough competition from American Jason Richardson and Great Britain's Andy Turner, the gold and bronze medal winners, respectively, from 2011 World Championships.

Complete TV schedule for Wednesday

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