For the first time in 12 years, USA Basketball is not atop the world men’s rankings.
FIBA, the sport’s governing body, updated its rankings Friday, and Spain moved into the top spot, a sliver ahead of the U.S.
The four-time defending Olympic champion Americans moved into the top spot after winning the FIBA world championship in 2010 and had been there since.
“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 … contributed to it,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo tweeted Friday.
FIBA’s rankings were changed in 2017 to a system that takes results from the most recent eight years into account. That means the U.S. is no longer reaping the benefits of the 2014 World Cup title but is still seeing the Olympic gold medals won at Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo factoring into the rankings. The U.S. finished seventh at the 2019 World Cup.
Spain won the most recent World Cup, plus the EuroBasket title earlier this year. The EuroBasket win was Spain’s fourth in its past six appearances at the continental championship, all of those victories coming under Scariolo.
Spain is just 1.1 points ahead of the U.S. men now, leading 758.6 to 757.5.
The next 10 spots in the world rankings were unchanged. Australia is third, Argentina — which was No. 1 before the U.S. took that spot in 2010 — is fourth, followed by France, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic.
The U.S. is still ranked No. 1 in women’s basketball by a nearly 200-point margin over China. The Americans rolled to gold at the women’s World Cup this year, further cementing their spot atop the list.
USA Basketball also holds comfortable leads atop the worldwide boys’ and girls’ rankings.
FIBA’s most recent rankings include the men’s national teams from 164 countries and 118 women’s national teams.
Spain overtakes USA for No. 1 spot in FIBA men’s hoops rankings
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