Powerhouse USA maintained their top spot ahead of Spain, Australia, Argentina and Serbia in the latest FIBA Men’s World Ranking following a thrilling third window of the FIBA Continental Cup Qualifiers.
The Americans, Spain, Australia and Serbia went unbeaten in the window while Argentina defeated Chile but lost to Colombia.
There was movement just outside the top five, however, with Greece leapfrogging France into sixth place after both teams split their February games in the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers.
The Greeks lost to Bosnia and Herzegovina and rebounded with a victory over Latvia, while France, now No. 7, edged Montenegro but crashed to a heavy defeat to Great Britain.
With a win and two narrow defeats in three February contests, Italy climbed from 12th to 10th in the rankings, as Brazil and Czech Republic each moved down a rung on the ladder to No. 11 and No. 12, respectively.
Brazil had their two games in the third window postponed while the Czechs played in the Vilnius bubble and lost to No. 8 Lithuania and held on to take a close win against No. 37 Belgium.
There were also significant upward movement for other European nations who finished the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers strong: Ukraine jumped over China to No. 28; Finland rose to No. 32 at the expense of Angola (No. 33) and Tunisia (No. 34); while Hungary climbed two spots to No. 38 after going 2-2 in the window.
In Americas, Colombia gained one position and climbed to No. 66 as they qualified for FIBA AmeriCup 2022 thanks to an 71-63 upset against Argentina and despite a defeat to Venezuela in the previous game.
Further down the rankings saw big jumps for teams that played in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers. Kazakhstan claimed two decisive victories over Sri Lanka and one over Palestine to move up five spots to No. 74 while Bahrain moved up six spots to No. 101 after falling to No. 58 Lebanon but then winning by three points over Iraq.
Palestine, who followed up a heavy defeat to Kazakhstan with a resounding victory over Sri Lanka, moved up four places to No. 89. The Sri Lankans slipped 11 spots, the most among all ranked teams, to 134 after three defeats in the window.
Malaysia are in a lowly 121st spot in the rankings and only the 25th ranked team in the Asian continental list.
Big jumps in Africa saw Democratic Republic of Congo rise three places to No. 81; and while Mozambique came up short of qualifying for the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 after falling to Angola and Senegal, they did beat Kenya and ended up climbing six spots to No. 90.
Kenya, despite their defeat to Mozambique, had the better window by upsetting 11-time winners Angola to clinch a spot in the FIBA AfroBasket for the first time in 28 years. The Morans, in becoming the first country to be coached to AfroBasket qualification by a female coach in Liz Mills, also rose three spots in the rankings to No. 112.
Guinea, who defeated Equatorial Guinea in their last games to clinch a spot in the FIBA AfroBasket, moved up five spots to No. 122.
Due to the suspension of FIBA competitions, an adjustment was made to the algorithm for the rankings in December by extending the expiration date of past results by eight months in order to ensure that results from two Olympic Games are at all times included in the calculations which weigh data from the past eight years.