How Long Are College Basketball Games?
College basketball games can vary in length, depending on the level of competition. The NCAA decides the length of all Division I (DI) and Division II (DII) games and states that both must consist of two 20-minute halves. Division III (DIII) games consist of two halves that range between 20-35 minutes, depending on the conferences within the NCAA’s Division III group.
NCAA Division I & II
NCAA DI and DII games are based on a 40-minute clock, regardless of the amount of time per shot or free throw. The NCAA states that basketball has a certain “pace of play” that needs to be followed and that the time between each stop of play must not exceed 30 seconds.
When the game clock is stopped, the minimum time allowed before the game can resume is 25 seconds. This time limit ensures that coaches, players and officials have enough time to discuss game strategy and allows for a smooth flow of play, which helps the game to not take too long.
NCAA Division III
NCAA DIII games are generally broken down into two 20-minute halves, but some conferences may choose to play longer halves that can stretch up to 35 minutes. Games can also be broken up into four 8-minute quarters, as is often seen in the NBA. Games that contain four quarters allow for more versatility when a team is trying to mount a come-back as there are more opportunities to score in a limited time frame.
Takeaways on College Basketball Games
- NCAA DI and DII games consist of 2 halves of 20 minutes.
- NCAA DIII games consist of 2 halves of 20-35 minutes, depending on the conference.
- A minimum of 25 seconds is allowed between each stop of play.
Overall, the length of college basketball games can vary, depending on which division a team plays in. The NCAA is in charge of dictating the length of games, and their main objective is to ensure a pace of play that keeps games exciting and doesn’t cause them to drag on for too long.