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We're witnessing a generational shift as the 32 top basketball countries in the world duke it out in the Philippines. The FIBA World Cup began with 32 teams. We've now trimmed the field down to eight. Not among those eight? Defending Olympic silver medalist France (knocked out in the first round!), defending Olympic bronze medalist Australia, and defending World Cup champion Spain.

Taking their place is a group of younger teams that figure to dominate the international stage for years to come. Of course, doing so means beating a very specific opponent. Team USA, international basketball's biggest bully, is still in the field, and despite a second-round loss to Lithuania, is still the favorite to win the whole thing.

Have the Americans earned that status? Let's find out by power ranking the eight teams left in the field. To do this, we will consider both performance at the World Cup thus far and theoretical upside based on roster talent with an emphasis on the former.

8. Italy

In fairness to Italy, this team could have been far more formidable. NBA Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero verbally committed to playing for Italy over a year ago. Obviously, if you've been watching the tournament, you know that he changed his mind and is now suiting up for Team USA. The Italian federation was not pleased. "Betrayal, especially in basketball, is a strong word. Situations like this happen, and personally, I'm used to it. But he fooled us, we were planning a great commercial strategy for him," federation president Gianni Petrucci told Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Banchero would have been Italy's star. Instead, he's a reserve for Team USA. Without him, Italy has still managed to put on a relatively impressive performance... but "relatively" is the key word there. Yes, they managed to hand Serbia its only defeat of the tournament thus far, but they also have the second-worst point-differential left in the field at plus-34. The only NBA player on this roster is Utah Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio. With Banchero, this team would have had a real chance to medal. As it stands, there just isn't enough firepower here to seriously compete.

7. Latvia

Latvia is also without its expected star in this tournament, though for far less controversial reasons. Kristaps Porzingis is nursing an injury, but his teammates have played impressive basketball without him. Latvia's greatest accomplishment in the tournament thus far came in the first round when they eliminated France in one of the most exciting games of the World Cup. The big splotch on its resume was a 26-point drubbing at the hands of Canada in its very next game, but as we'll cover, Canada has done that to plenty of teams already.

Latvia did manage to defeat Brazil, who upset Canada in the second round, and Spain, which pushed the Canadians to the brink, so it's fair to assume that Canada, particularly Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, simply posed unsolvable matchup problems. Without Porzingis, Latvia is also down to a single NBA player: Davis Bertans, and while they've beaten better opponents than Italy thus far, that talent limitation factors seriously into these rankings.

6. Slovenia

How far can the best player in the field take you? If Luka Doncic has his way, the answer will be a gold medal. Doncic leads the entire tournament in scoring at 26.4 points per game. He ranks ninth in assists and 16th in rebounds, but when you add all of that up, HoopsHype's Global Rating system has graded him as the tournament's best player thus far. Before Sunday's blowout loss to Germany, it wasn't close.

Of course, that loss did happen, and even if it came against a team ranked quite a bit higher here, a 29-point blowout is never going to look good on anyone's resume. Slovenia does have a pretty impressive victory over Australia under its belt, but otherwise, the wins leave a bit to be desired. Doncic is the only NBA player here, and only two of his teammates are even scoring in double-figures for the tournament. 

None of this will preclude Slovenia from making a real run at the title. Doncic really is that good. But Germany laid out the blueprint on Sunday. Force him to shoot 3's, double wisely and do everything in your power to preemptively switch out of mismatches. With NBA-caliber talent around him, he might be able to work around that. With who's on his team right now, it's going to be a whole lot harder.

5. Serbia

Serbia might have had the best player in this tournament if the Denver Nuggets hadn't just won their first championship. Instead, a resting Nikola Jokic is watching at home as his teammates do everything in their power to qualify for the Olympics without him. They've largely held up their end of the bargain. Bogdan Bogdanovic is leading the way, but a stellar performance out of Miami Heat rookie Nikola Jovic and five total players averaging double-figures in scoring has given Serbia the balanced attack it needs to make a real run.

Despite its two-point loss to Italy, Serbia boasts the tournament's best point-differential at a staggering plus-122. The question here is how Serbia minus Jokic will hold up against better competition. Italy is probably the worst team left in the field, but won their matchup head-to-head. Karl-Anthony Towns didn't have much trouble putting up 25 points in Sunday's matchup between Serbia and the Dominican Republic. Scarier opponents await Serbia in the knockout stage, and until they beat them, it's hard not to wonder if this team's success is sustainable.

4. Canada

Here's where the serious contenders begin to separate themselves. Canada looked completely and utterly unstoppable in the first round, winning its three games by an average of 37 points apiece. Blowing out France, even in light of what followed, is one of the best wins of the tournament, and even if Latvia doesn't rate all that high here, a 26-point win over a team that advanced to the second round is similarly impressive. 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has looked as unstoppable on the FIBA stage as he is in the NBA. Besides Doncic, he has been by far the tournament's best player. His teammates have taken turns playing sidekicks. Kelly Olynyk's shooting becomes more powerful with FIBA's shortened 3-point line. RJ Barrett carried Canada for much of the first half against Spain, and Dillon Brooks played some of the best offense he's played in years during their 12-point comeback in the fourth quarter. The Brooks-Lu Dort combination is the best perimeter defensive duo in the entire tournament. At their best, this defense is ferocious.

So how did they lose to Brazil on Friday? Or the Dominican Republic in a pre-tournament exhibition? Why did they need a double-digit comeback against Spain? As dominant as Canada has been at its best, this is perhaps the most inconsistent group in the entire field. That's somewhat predictable, as it is also among the youngest and least experienced. Canada faced significant pressure coming into the World Cup. It was their best chance to secure a bid for the 2024 Olympics, their first since 2000. Maybe now that the Olympic monkey is off of their backs they'll be able to play a bit looser. But without knowing which version of this team we'll see on a given day, it's hard to rank Canada in the top three.

3. Lithuania

Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking. Lithuania is undefeated. They earned the best win in the tournament on Sunday when they beat Team USA. So why is Team USA still ranked higher? Well, that victory was largely the result of an ideal matchup. As our own Jack Maloney detailed, Team USA struggles on the glass due to its smaller lineups. Lithuania leads the tournament in rebounding. Sure enough, Lithuania outrebounded Team USA 43-26 on Sunday. That is sustainable, but usually, teams that rebound that well have to play so big that their spacing is limited.

The opposite has been true for Lithuania. They are shooting 46.4% from deep in the World Cup. That isn't remotely sustainable. If Lithuania shoots 56% from 3-point range in a possible rematch with Team USA, they could easily win again. In the likelier event of regression, Lithuania looks far less dangerous.

The roster, even in the absence of Kings star Domantas Sabonis, is strong. Jonas Valanciunas is the only active NBA player, but NBA alums Donatas Motiejunas and Ignas Brazdeikis have played a big part in Lithuania's success thus far. This team could certainly medal. If the shooting lasts, we can't even rule out gold. But realistically, this team hasn't done enough to prove that it is the best in the field.

2. USA

Brandon Ingram would be the best player on most of the teams in this tournament. On Team USA, he's lost his starting job and has struggled throughout the tournament adjusting to playing for a superteam. That is Team USA's superpower. It doesn't have a Doncic or a Gilgeous-Alexander, but if you ranked the 10 best players in the tournament, seven or eight would be American.

To some extent, that is also Team USA's curse. Anthony Edwards has firmly grasped the position of team superstar, but while others have been major contributors throughout the tournament, this is an environment completely unfamiliar to the majority of them. Most of these players are used to being the best on their team. Now they're being asked to do role player things. Some have adjusted better than others, but asking players of this caliber to figure it out on the fly with a roster they're largely unfamiliar with is a tall order. There's a reason Team USA has only won this tournament twice in the 20th century. Talent alone doesn't guarantee success.

It goes a long way though. Team USA is the highest-scoring team at the tournament. The Americans rank fifth in assists despite their endless supply of one-on-one scorers, and their plus-109 point-differential trails only Canada and Germany. This team is favored for a reason. Nobody can match it in talent. But the rebounding woes uncovered by Lithuania and Montenegro aren't going away, and their exhibition games against top competition were hardly blowouts. If nothing else, this group is vulnerable. Vulnerable teams can win gold medals, but that won't come easily.

1. Germany

If Team USA played Germany in a seven-game series with NBA-caliber resources devoted to scouting and game-planning, it would probably win. The World Cup is a different beast. You play once. When these teams met in a pre-tournament exhibition, Team USA needed a double-digit comeback to put Germany away. Since then, Germany has been the better of the two teams.

Germany hasn't lost a World Cup game yet, and wins over Slovenia, Finland and Australia are all more impressive than anything Team USA has mustered thus far in the Philippines. Germany also played a pair of exhibitions against Canada, winning one and losing the other in overtime. They've allowed only 73.4 points per game in the tournament thus far.

There is NBA talent on this roster, but it isn't overwhelming. Franz Wagner is the best professional here, but Dennis Schroder has been the most impactful in the tournament. His speed becomes much more valuable on a roster that can space the floor as well as Germany does. With Mo Wagner and Daniel Theis in place, Schroder rarely lacks for driving space. Almost everyone on the roster can handle the ball and shoot, and that makes them a nightmare to defend in a single-elimination setting. Team USA will be favored in a matchup with Germany should the bracket produce one. That's probably justified. But Germany's resume thus far in this tournament is better. For the time being, that earns them the No. 1 spot in these rankings.