Team USA keeps top spot in FIBA mens world rankings – NBA India

Team USA keeps top spot in FIBA men\s world rankings - NBA India
Team USA keeps top spot in FIBA mens world rankings
Despite finishing seventh at the FIBA World Cup earlier this month the United States are still ranked No. 1 in the world, and while that may be shocking to some, FIBAs ranking system basically ensures that the chances of America being dethroned are unlikely.

It would take consecutive years of poor play for the U.S. to see any real drop in the rankings, and given that Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard have already verbally committed to competing in the 2020 Olympics, that doesnt look like it will happen in the near future. 

While the men are still in the drivers seat heading into the 2020 Games, the margin for error is even slimmer with Spain — the World Cup champions — now just 54.9 points behind the United States. That might seem like nothing to sweat over, but compare that to the 310-point lead the U.S. womens team has over Spain, and it shows that the men cant just send anyone into international play and expect an easy first-place finish. 

The FIBA rankings incorporate results from the past eight years, a stretch that includes two Olympic gold medals (2012, 2016) and a World Cup title (2014) for the Americans.

With USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo voicing his concerns about the number of players who pulled out prior to the World Cup, and vowing to right the ship for the 2020 Olympics, all eyes will be on how the U.S. team fills out the rest of its roster in their pursuit of capturing a fourth-straight gold medal at the Olympics next summer.

USA Basketball remains No. 1 in the FIBA world men’s rankings despite a shocking seventh-place finish at this month’s World Cup in China.

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USA Basketball has kept its No. 1 spot in the FIBA world mens rankings, even after a disappointing seventh-place showing in the World Cup that ended earlier this week.

Its now nine-years-and-counting in the top spot for the U.S., which has held the No. 1 ranking since winning the 2010 world championship. World Cup champion Spain stayed No. 2, Australia leaped eight spots to No. 3, World Cup finalist Argentina rose one spot to No. 4 and World Cup bronze-medalist France fell two slots to No. 5.

FIBAs rankings take results from the most recent eight years into account — which means the U.S. is still reaping point benefits from the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medals and the 2014 World Cup title.

In this day and age, basketball in other countries is not a secret, U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said after the Americans completed their run in the World Cup. So its not like theres an epiphany or a revelation to be made. There are wonderful teams and wonderful coaches all over the world. You go compete and the best teams win.

Its now expected that the U.S. will retain the No. 1 ranking going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Several top NBA players, including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Damian Lillard have said in recent days that they intend to play for the U.S. in Tokyo, where the Americans will try to win a fourth consecutive gold medal.

The new rankings confirmed that European champion Slovenia, which didnt earn a spot in the World Cup field after many of its top players couldnt take part in qualifying since those games conflicted with the NBA and Euroleague schedules, will still have a chance to compete in the Olympics — as will seven other teams that found out theyre headed to playoffs next year.

Angola, Senegal, Mexico, Uruguay, China, Korea and Croatia also still have Olympic hopes. Those last eight playoff spots awarded Thursday went to the top two teams from Africa, Europe, Asia-Oceania and the Americas regions who hadnt either already clinched Olympic berths or spots in the last-chance playoffs.

Japan is automatically qualified for the 12-team Olympic tournament as the host country. The U.S., Argentina, Nigeria, Spain, France, Iran and Australia clinched Olympic spots at the World Cup by finishing as the best teams in their respective FIBA regions — the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

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That leaves four unclaimed Olympic berths, and 24 teams to compete for them in playoffs next year. There will be four six-team tournaments held from June 23-28, 2020 — winner-take-all, all in this case meaning an Olympic berth. Bidding for sites is expected to begin shortly, FIBA said.

The other 16 playoff spots were awarded based on World Cup placing. They went to Serbia, Lithuania, Greece, Russia, Brazil, Italy, Puerto Rico, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, Poland, New Zealand and Tunisia.

Belize was the top mover in the new rankings, climbing 50 spots to No. 118. Kosovo rose 21 spots to No. 69, Togo went up 21 spots to No. 136, Tunisia climbed 18 spots to No. 33 and Ivory Coast went up 16 spots to No. 48.

FIBA has four sets of rankings — for men, women, boys and girls. The U.S. holds the No. 1 spot in all four of those rankings, though the race is tightest among the men.

The U.S. men hold a lead of 54.9 points over Spain in those rankings, while the rankings margins held by the U.S. women (310 points over No. 2 Spain), boys (291 points over No. 2 Canada) and girls (155 points over No. 2 Spain) are far more comfortable.

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