All right, another Thursday means another look at BallinEurope’s Top 100 Teams in Europe chart, the last until the big pan-Continental leagues gear up again with sweet 16 action. (BiE was just waiting for the dust to settle in Athens after the PAO-Olympiacos match, but settling may yet be a few days in the making.)

Two notes vis-à-vis the scoring system this week: The weight for VTB United League games has been reduced a bit; while the field in this association is generally quite top-notch, there are three notable lemons in the peach basket of 12 who are clearly, shall we say, out of their league: Honka Espoo Playboys (ranked 73rd this week, 81st last week), Dnipro (58th and 61st) and TTU/Kalev (no. 78 this week).

Toward the top of the table, Olympiacos’ win over rivals Panathinaikos indeed broke last week’s tie between clubs, but both were leapfrogged by FC Barcelona; since falling to Caja Laboral Baskonia in November, Barça has lost just twice – and both times by a single point. Again ensconced atop the ACB table in time for the Copa del Rey, Barcelona’s back – and still not at full strength. Scary.

The biggest drop in the top 30 was that of Žalgiris, who fell from 14th to 9th. Some of this was due to the scaling down of VTB League wins, but no LKL games equals slippage on the BiE Top 100. The entire chart looks as follows.

1. (1) Montepaschi Siena (ITA), 560.54
2. (4) FC Barcelona (ESP), 553.59
3. (2) Olympiacos (GRE), 544.76
4. (3) Panathinaikos (GRE), 535.21
5. (5) Real Madrid (ESP), 530.92
6. (6) Fenerbahçe Ülker (TUR), 518.35
7. (8) Union Olimpija (SLO), 513.05
8. (7) Maccabi Tel Aviv (ISR), 509.72
9. (10) Caja Laboral Baskonia (ESP), 504.55
10. (T12) Power Electronics Valencia (ESP), 487.42
11. (11) Partizan Belgrade (SER), 480.82
12. (T12) Unicaja Malaga (ESP), 478.59

13. (15) AJ Milano (ITA), 474.29
14. (9) Žalgiris Kaunas (LTU), 472.92
15. (14) Efes Pilsen (TUR), 467.73
16. (17) Lietuvos Rytas (LTU), 456.22
17. (16) BC Khimki Moscow region (RUS), 447.85
18. (19) Lottomatica Roma (ITA), 447.73
19. (18) CSKA Moscow (RUS), 443.12
20. (20) Cholet Basket (FRA), 429.50

21. (21) Brose Baskets Bamberg (GER), 421.73
22. (22) Asseco Prokom (POL), 401.62
23. (23) Unics Kazan (RUS), 363.77
24. (24) Galatasaray Café Crown (TUR), 349.92 – The big two non-Euroleague teams again sneak into the top 25, though riding different sorts of weeks: Unics Kazan now shares the lead in VTB Group A along with CSKA, with whom they’re also three-way tied alongside Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia.

Galatasaray suffered a disappointing loss at home to Olin Edirne (just 8-6 in TBL play) to fall one game behind Fenerbahçe Ülker and Banvit for the league lead. The Turkish side travels to play Pepsi Caserta on Tuesday night while Unics hosts Gran Canaria when the Eurobasket Last 16 round starts up.

25. (25) Spirou Charleroi (BEL), 340.08
26. (27) Cibona Zagreb (CRO), 249.65
27. (29) Gran Canaria 2014 (ESP), 245.71
28. (30) BC Azovmash (UKR), 244.59
29. (26) Bennet Cantu (ITA), 241.21
30. (28) Benetton Bwin Basket (ITA), 239.46
31. (31) Aris BSA (GRE), 239.18
32. (38) Tartu Rock (EST), 235.13
33. (32) Banvit BK (TUR), 233.46 – A poor showing in Eurocup round one is still hurting Banvit’s ranking on this chart, but staying in contention in TBL ball will help them by season’s end.

34. (34) Cajasol Sevilla (ESP), 231.60
35. (36) Cedevita Zagreb (CRO), 231.28
36. (40) KK Krka (SLO), 226.50 – Not exactly sure what it means to declare a squad “The Best Eurochallenge Team,” but for BiE’s money, it’s Krka in 2010-11. Tartu Rock may be ranked slightly higher by dint of 18 games played domestically against Krka’s zero, but sitting just one game out of the NLB lead makes imaginable a rare double crown of Adriatic and Eurochallenge titles. (A first-ever feat…?)

37. (33) Buducnost (MNT), 226.46
38. (41) CEZ Nymburk (CZE), 225.14
39. (37) Asefa Estudiantes (ESP), 224.46 – Eight Spanish teams in the top 40; no wonder people think the ACB is pretty good…

40. (35) Budivelnik (UKR), 222.04 – At 24-7 overall, Budivelnik has the most wins of any European team; Brose Baskets (no. 21 in the BiE Top 100) and KTP Basket KOTKA (no. 86) each have 22 wins.

41. (42) Hemofarm Stada (SER), 215.89
42. (49) Norrkoping Dolphins (SWE), 215.81 – In the thinnest difference between consecutive spots in the top 50, Hemofarm proves to be exactly 0.038% better than the Dolphins.

43. (44) Pepsi Caserta (ITA), 213.21
44. (50) Siauliai (LTU), 212.52
45. (43) BK Ventspils (LAT), 212.13
46. (45) PAOK BC (GRE), 211.96
47. (39) VEF Riga (LAT), 211.20
48. (46) Alba Berlin (GER), 208.21
49. (47) Beşiktaş Cola Turka (TUR), 207.46
50. (48) Pinar Karsiyaka (TUR), 206.46

51. (56) Rudupis (LTU), 202.15
52. (51) Panellinios BC (GRE), 198.35 – Noted reader Antonio after last week’s Top 100 rankings were posted, “Panellinios Lamia is ranked way too low. I can assure you of that. Look at their 10-man rotation:

“PG Maurice Bailey/Vasilis Xanthopoulos
SG Manolis Papamakarios/Samo Udrih
SF Joe Krabbenhoft/Georgios Kalaitzis
PF Steven Smith/Vangelis Sklavos
C Torin Francis/Djuro Ostojic

“That club has one of the strongest rosters in Europe. They have just had a ton of injuries all season long. If that team ever gets healthy, they will be a force in Greek A1 and in Eurocup.”

BiE’d agree, Antonio. Hell, the official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ going into the 2010-11 season had Panellinios in the Eurocup finals against Unics Kazan. I’m still feeling pretty good about the prognostication and thinking Panellinios’ll turn things around. And their ranking will increase, surely.

53. (52) Asvel Basket (FRA), 193.41
54. (53) Le Mans (FRA), 190.51
55. (63) KK Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje (CRO), 189.46
56. (57) SLUC Nancy (FRA), 187.88
57. (55) BG Goettingen (GER), 186.54
58. (61) Dnipro (UKR), 185.71
59. (64) KK Zadar (CRO), 184.46
60. (54) Chorale Roanne (FRA), 183.93

61. (59) Hapoel Jerusalem (ISR), 182.88
62. (62) Turk Telecom Ankara (TUR), 180.96
63. (58) KK Siroki TT Kabeli (BIH), 176.46
64. (60) Gravelines Dunkerque (FRA), 175.77
65. (66) Deutsche Bank Skyliners (GER), 171.13
66. (76) KK Igokea (BIH), 168.52
67. (67) Spartak St. Petersburg (RUS), 164.82
68. (65) EWE Baskets (GER), 164.67
69. (70) Khimik Yuzhny (UKR), 164.30
70. (71) BC Lokomotiv Kuban (RUS), 163.74

71. (69) BC Donetsk (UKR), 163.46
72. (68) Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (ISR), 159.20
73. (81) Honka Espoo Playboys (FIN), 158.52
74. (72) KK Radnicki (SER), 157.32
75. (74) Orleanaise Loiret (FRA), 157.09
76. (75) Telekom Baskets Bonn (GER), 155.29
77. (77) Gasterra Flames (NED), 154.86
78. (n/a) TTU/Kalev (EST), 154.05 – BiE apologizes to offended Estonians for miscalculating TTU/Kalev score last week, but in a league of nine teams, approximately eight of them are named with some variation of “Kalev.”

79. (73) Anwil Wloclawek (POL), 151.68
80. (78) Lukoil Academic Sofia (BUL), 150.77
81. (82) KK Crvena zvezda (SER), 149.46
82. (79) BK Prostejov (CZE), 147.71
83. (88) BC Minsk 2006 (BLR), 147.58 – At 18-0, Minsk has the best domestic-league record on The Continent.

84. (80) Krasnye Krylia (RUS), 143.03
85. (85) Ferro-ZNTU (UKR), 141.38
86. (94) KTP Basket KOTKA (FIN), 138.35 – Q: If a basketball team amasses 22 wins, but they all happen in Finland, does it make a sound? A: Yes, but barely.

87. (83) Barak Netanya (ISR), 138.14
88. (84) Szolnoki Olaj (HUN), 135.21
89. (87) Trefl Sopot (POL), 129.07

90. (86) Maccabi Haifa (ISR), 127.99
91. (89) Artland Dragons (GER), 126.13
92. (93) Oostende (BEL), 120.25
93. (91) Dexia Mons-Hainaut (BEL), 119.18
94. (90) Apoel Nicosia (CYP), 119.13
95. (92) Antwerp Giants (BEL), 117.09
96. (96) Helsinn Lugano Tigers (SUI), 116.13
97. (97) BC Kyiv (UKR), 115.46
98. (95) Enterprise Dynamo Moscow (RUS), 114.46
99. (101) FMP (SER), 109.46 – Even though BiE is content to let the numbers speak for themselves at this point, some fudgery must be admitted to here. While the calculations say that Paris Levallois actually scored 0.38 points higher than FMP, BiE simply can’t believe a 4-9 mark in France is superior to a 12-0 record in Serbia – even if the big kids haven’t come home yet. Sorry, Levallois fans…

100. (100) Mersey Tigers (GBR), n/a.

Bubbling under: Paris Levallois (FRA), 109.84 points; Belgacom Liege (BEL), 108.35; Kalev/Kramo (EST), 108.25; Lisboa e Benfica (POR), 107.11; ETHA Encomi (CYP), 106.96; BC NN Nizhny Novgorod (RUS), 105.53; Nevezis (LTU), 105.33; LF Basket (SWE), 102.32; Perlas (LTU), 101.19; Leiden Basketball (NED), 99.98; BC Enisey (RUS), 99.46; Liepaja Lauvas (LAT), 99.46.

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