Whatever remaining relevance the FIBA World Rankings had went swirling down the toilet on Sunday. After winning eight straight games in mostly spectacular fashion to clinch Olympic gold, the United States dropped one spot to No. 2.
The world's top hoops squad according to the rankings is Argentina, a team the U.S. overwhelmed 101-81 on Friday in the semifinals.
Rankings so counter-intuitive and oblivious to the "smell test" are barely worthy of discussion, but here's a brief explanation for those who don't feel like weeding through FIBA's methodology.
The FIBA World Rankings take into account tournaments from the past eight years, awarding points based on order of finish and giving more weight to major events like the Olympics or the FIBA World Championship, with lesser emphasis on continental events like the FIBA Americas Championship or EuroBasket.
The completion of the Olympic tournament on Sunday meant the results from the Sydney Olympics fell out of the eight-year range. So the U.S. added a gold medal to its tally and lost its gold medal finish from 2000. The Argentines added Sunday's bronze medal -- but their non-participation in the 2000 Olympics was no longer counted against them.
Whatevs. FIBA's loss of credibility is SI.com's gain, since our Post-Olympics Power Rankings simply call it like we see it. Here's a look at the international pecking order in the wake of America's redemption song: