When it comes to basketball, the United States is always the country to beat. When 3x3 was added to the Olympic program for the Tokyo Games, that held true for the U.S. women, who earned gold with a near-perfect tournament run. However, the U.S. men didn't even qualify for those Olympics — something that USA Basketball has been working to rectify ahead of the Paris Games.

Below are some of the biggest storylines from the world of 3x3 basketball that will have an impact on the men's and women's tournaments at the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games.

Men's 3x3 basketball

After being unable to qualify for the Tokyo Games, USA Basketball has found a new quartet that makes them gold-medal contenders for Paris 2024.

It started when Jimmer Fredette, a former college star at BYU who gained fame for his three-point shooting, came aboard in November 2022. Alongside teammates Canyon Barry, Kareem Maddox and Dylan Travis, the group immediately won the 2022 AmeriCup, then went on to win the 2023 Pan American Games and finish as the runner-up at the 2023 World Cup.

The roster, known as "Team Miami" on the FIBA circuit, helped propel the United States to the No. 2 spot in the men's world rankings, good enough to automatically qualify for the 2024 Olympics.

While the United States can rightfully be considered gold-medal contenders now, the favorites might actually be Serbia, the country that earned bronze at the last Olympics.

Serbia defeated the U.S. at the last World Cup — the final was a tight contest that ended 21-19 in favor of the Serbs — and is currently the No. 1 ranked men's team in the world. That World Cup roster consisted of Marko Brankovic, Dejan Majstorovic, Strahinja Stojacic and Mihailo Vasic.

Women's 3x3 basketball

While the U.S. women have ended up with a rotating cast of players at major tournaments, they still have proven to be one of the world's most formidable countries regardless of who takes the court.

The U.S. women won the 2023 World Cup with a roster that included current college stars Cameron Brink (Stanford) and Hailey Van Lith (LSU). Currently, the U.S. is ranked No. 2 in the world behind China even though many of the top Americans are not consistently competing in 3x3 tournaments.

As for who will earn the honor of competing in Paris, that may depend on how the final 5-on-5 roster shakes out. WNBA stars who miss out on the 5-on-5 roster could be in the selection pool for the 3x3 team — provided they have recent 3x3 experience — which would only enhance the country's status as the gold-medal favorite.

As of March 2024, the U.S. is one of three teams that have qualified for the Paris 2024 women's tournament. China, ranked No. 1 in the world, and France, the World Cup runner-up, are also in the field and could potentially offer a challenge to the Americans.