how long do college basketball games last

how long do college basketball games last

How Long Do College Basketball Games Last?

College basketball games are some of the most exciting sporting events around the world. With teams of the highest caliber battle it out on the court, thrilling their fans with each play. But how long do college basketball games typically last?

Duration of Game

A typical college basketball game lasts 2 ½ hours. This includes a 15-minute halftime break as well as up to three timeouts per team in each half. The duration of the game is typically dependent on the amount of television or media timeouts within the given game, which can add an extra few minutes onto the overall length.

Overtime Periods

If the game is tied at the end of regulation, then an overtime period will be enforced in order to determine the winner. There is normally a five-minute overtime period at the collegiate level, with each team receiving one timeout in the overtime period. If the overtime period concludes with a tie, then the game is declared a draw and no winner is determined.

What Factors Impact Duration?

There are a few factors which can affect the duration of a college basketball game:

  • TV Timeouts: Media timeouts are prevalent in collegiate games as broadcasters often need additional time to show adverts or replays to the viewers. This adds time to the overall game.
  • Free Throws: Free throws are a huge part of the game, especially if a game becomes tight. As each free throw requires a reset of the 5-second backcourt violation, the player fouled has some time to reset, and this adds to the overall duration.
  • Heated Games: It’s not uncommon for college basketball games to become intense and heated. If a calling of a timeout is done to clear the air, or multiple players are penalized with technical or flagrant fouls, this may extend the length of the game.


The typical length of a college basketball game is around two and a half hours, however this may increase or decrease depending on the factors outlined above. Whatever the case may be, college basketball games are electrifying and leave the spectators on the edge of their seats.



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