The United States defeated Cuba Andrew D. With 47 seconds left in the first half, Jordan, who finished with six points, scored on a fast-break dunk. To the dismay of the Cuban national team, the rest of Team USA scored 62 points in that first half while holding the Cubans to 27 points. A barn burner this was not, as Aldridge explained: So it went all afternoon at this unveiling of the U.
In fact, the final series in and rank among the highest-rated sporting events in Japanese television history. South Korea went on to advance to the semifinals with a 6—0 record but lost to Japan a team South Korea had beaten twice in the earlier rounds for a berth in the final game.
Meanwhile, Cuba defeated the Dominican Republic in the other semifinal. Japan then defeated Cuba 10—6 to be crowned the first champion of the World Baseball Classic. The tournament featured the same 16 teams as , but the controversial round-robin format from was replaced by a modified double-elimination format for the first two rounds the semifinals and final game remained single-elimination.
The eight teams advancing from the first round were the same as in , except for a "Cinderella" performance by the Netherlands , which twice defeated the Dominican Republic to reach the second round.
Japan then emerged victorious for the second straight Classic, winning the final game over South Korea 5—3 in 10 innings.
The buildup to the tournament included a qualifying round for the first time, with the four lowest finishers from having to re-qualify against 12 additional teams. The round-robin format was revived for the tournament's first-round, while the second-round remained double-elimination.
Italy was the biggest surprise in the early stages of the tournament, making it to the second round with wins over Canada and Mexico. The tournament ended in an all-Caribbean championship game, with the Dominican Republic defeating Puerto Rico, which had upset two-time champion Japan in the semifinals.
The Dominican Republic also became the first and to date, only team to go undefeated through the tournament.
The tournament returned to the format used in , where both the first and second rounds were round-robin, though with the addition of tiebreaker games if needed. Colombia and Israel qualified for the first time, with Israel, using a roster mostly of Jewish American players, able to reach the second round in its WBC debut.
Defending champion Dominican Republic extended its WBC winning streak to 11 games, dating to the tournament, before also being eliminated in the second round.
Puerto Rico had been undefeated in the tournament before losing in the final, in game where its most important pitchers were not allowed to play due to WBC rules. See also: World Baseball Classic qualification The first two iterations of the Classic featured the same 16 teams, chosen by invitation.
A qualifying round was added leading into the tournament and takes place in the year before the WBC proper. The top 12 finishing teams from each WBC are automatically entered in the next edition, while the four lowest finishers the teams that finish in last place in their first-round pools are relegated to the qualifying round.
Qualifying consists of four four-team modified double-elimination tournaments, with the winners earning the last four slots in the main tournament. The addition of qualifying has so far allowed four nations Brazil, Colombia, Israel, and Spain from outside the original 16 to compete in the WBC.