In the latest rankings released by FIBA, the United States has reclaimed the top spot in men’s basketball, surpassing Spain. This comes after the US missed out on a medal in the U.S. World Cup. Germany, the reigning World Cup champions, have climbed up eight places to secure the third spot, marking their highest ranking ever. With hopes of maintaining their position, the United States is vying for their fifth consecutive gold medal at the upcoming Paris Olympics. FIBA updates its rankings regularly, and this is the first adjustment made since February. Spain had overtaken the United States in November 2022, ending their 12-year reign at the top.
The revamped FIBA ranking system, which only considers results from the past eight years, factors in the Olympic gold medals won by teams. This has particularly benefited the United States, as their recent absences from the podium in the last two World Cups were offset by their gold medal wins in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. As a result, Canada has seen a significant upward shift of nine places to sixth after their fourth-place finish in the Manila Games, while Latvia has risen 22 spots after reaching the quarterfinals of their first World Cup. Australia, Serbia, and Argentina remain among the top 10 teams.
Notably, South Sudan has seen a remarkable improvement in their ranking, moving up 32 places to 31st after the World Cup. Their coach, Royal Ivey, expressed his joy as his team qualified for the Olympics and highlighted the positive impact of basketball on their country. Cape Verde, the winners of the World Cup, have also made a statement, rising 19 places to No. 46 and showcasing their determination despite being the smallest country in the tournament.
In the overall FIBA rankings, USA Basketball holds the number one spot not only in men’s but also in women’s basketball, further cementing their dominance in the sport. With 159 men’s teams included in the FIBA rankings, the United States continues to be a force to be reckoned with.