Wednesday, February 1 2023
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In major news in the international basketball world, the United States of America is no longer ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA in men’s basketball. The Americans were knocked off the top spot for the first time in 12 years by Spain, who climbed to first place with 758.6 ranking points in the latest FIBA rankings on Friday

Here’s a look at the top 10:

Rank Country Points

1

Spain

758.6

2

USA

757.5

3

Australia

740.3

4

Argentina

734.3

5

France

715.0

6

Serbia

710.9

7

Slovenia

704.3

8

Lithuania

669.5

9

Greece

665.9

10

Italy

646.6

FIBA’s rankings are a somewhat convoluted system that looks at every game played by each national team over the most recent eight-year period. Teams receive ranking points based on the margin of victory and/or defeat, whether they were the home or away team, opponent and competition, with more recent games weighted more heavily. If you want a full explanation you can go here

In short, Spain jumped Team USA due to their recent gold medals at the 2019 FIBA World Cup and EuroBasket 2022. While Team USA did win the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, they finished a disappointing seventh in the 2019 World Cup, and their 2014 World Cup win was cycled out of the ranking system. 

“It’s not exactly a new title and it probably can’t be maintained for too long, but it’s something so unique, prestigious and historic that I feel tremendously proud of everyone who, from the U12 to the Absolute, have contributed to it,” Spanish national team coach Sergio Scariolo Tweeted on Friday

The statement from USA Basketball had a bit of a different tone: “LOL. That’s cute.”

Team USA will have a chance to show they’re still the best team in the world next year during the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which is being hosted by the Phillippines, Japan and Indonesia. Qualifying for the event is still going on, but the Americans currently sit atop their group in the FIBA Americas qualifying tournament with two games remaining — one against second-place Brazil and one against fifth-place Uruguay, which will be played in February. Team USA must finish in the top three to claim an automatic berth in the World Cup; a fourth-place finish would give them a chance to qualify depending on the results of other groups. 

Source: CBSSports.com

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