How Long Are College Basketball Games? NCAA Game Timing

A college basketball game contains 40 minutes of playing time, divides into two halves of 20 minutes. Moreover, an average college basketball game runs for around two hours, although, time changes on the basis of overtime, timeouts, fouls and video reviews. However, basketball games have been attention grabbing events at each level. Fans do not only take interest in professional events but happy for college basketball.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is hosting the entire tournament for young basketball gamers. These are the factors which came us back to the question: how long are college basketball games?

How Long Does a Men’s Basketball Game Last?

The standard length of a college basketball game should be 55 minutes with only two 20-minute halves and each has a 15-minue break. Moreover, the overall length of a game when broadcast on TV is mostly much longer than that. Most of the NCCA games last for two hours and 10 minutes. We have 3 total timeouts, two 30-second timeouts for every team and 40-minute for actual gameplay. College matches are normally eight minutes short longer as compared to an NBA game. An average real-time NCCA game duration has been lower than some minutes.

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The number of frequency and timeouts through which teams take free throws during and after college basketball matches have been the key contributors to this issue. There are no quarters for men’s college basketball matches. It portrays fouls will not take reset time and last for an inning. The more fouls a gamer commits, the more increasing the game’s length and longer a game lasts. There are 4 timeouts for every men’s college basketball team in a basketball game. One of them lasted for 60 seconds however, three lasted for 30 seconds. They had to miss a timeout in the 1st half or they would have used it.

However, the 2nd half portrays every team has potential to stop a gameplay for at least 3 times. Four sets of TV watching times are scheduled for every round despite of having timeouts and halftime breaks. Their name is stoppage and comes out at 4, 8, 12 and 16 of every game. It will be completely ignored if there is no chance of stoppage at one of these 4 milestones.

How Long Does a Women’s College Basketball Last?

Women’s college basketball games normally last for two hours with four 10-minute quarters. There has been a time when women’s games also last as long as men’s. But new rules and regulations had completely changed the format of game in 2015. The use of 4 quarters is totally constant with other Major Leagues. These games also involve a break time between 2nd and 3rd half. During the match, every team will be awarded with 4 timeouts, similar to the men’s match. However, there is no limit for women’s team when they can use them.

The Longest NCAA Basketball Matches of All Times

Most of the people are curious to know whether which game has been longer in the history of basketball. Here, we will present some examples one by one before our people.

  • Cincinnati VS Bradley (1981)

The longest NCAA basketball match was held on 21 December 1981 between Cincinnati and Bradley. Because both teams still kept the score even after passing 6 innings. It was only in the 7th extra time when Cincinnati earned the lead over Bradley. That gameplay lasted for around 4 hours from 19:30 to 11:20. Most importantly, the overall score was still relatively low, 73-75.

  • Syracuse VS Connecticut (2009)

The match between Syracuse and Connecticut was held on 12th March 2009, lasted until 6th overtime in the quarterfinals of the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament. Syracuse had won the match with a score of 117-127. However, the gameplay lasted for almost 3 hours and 46 minutes. There are many videos available on YouTube through which you can easily watch this historical game.

How Long Does An NBA Game Last?

An average NBA match normally lasts from 2 to 2.5 hours. There are more factors which have potential to directly affect the time of game when number is not fixed. However, the National Basketball Association (NBA) rules every round of NBA basketball match to be almost twelve minutes. With 4 matches, an overall gameplay time will be over 48 minutes.

Moreover, there is more likely to have 15 minutes break time between the 2nd and 3rd rounds however, they are just theoretical. Several problems can cause a basketball match to last longer than expected, up to round two hours in real gameplay. It is important to note that these games last longer as compared to FIFA games.

Regular Basketball Odds at BetMGM

It is a perfect way to bet on college basketball odds to come closer to the action every season. With moneylines, under/over totals and updated spreads for thousands of matches from November through April, there are unlimited combinations of bets for anyone regardless of college basketball knowledge and sports betting expertise.

When Are Television Timeouts in College Basketball?

The television timeouts occur at the 1st dead ball after every half’s 4-minute, 8-minute, 12-minute and 16-minute marks. It will become a television timeout, if a team timeout is called within 30 seconds before any specified time. However, the same is also applying to a video review within 30 seconds of a television timeout.

How Long Do the FIBA Games Last?

Each basketball game will have 4 quarters according to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Moreover, each basketball quarter will last for minutes along with an overall gameplay time of 40 minutes. It is easy to mention that the duration of NBA games is relatively longer than that of FIBA games. However, the tournament has some rules and regulations which we will discuss below.

  1. Before the beginning of the competition, every team is given only 20 minutes to prepare.
  2. There is a small break between the 1st and 2nd half, lasting 2 minutes.
  3. The break between the 2nd and 3rd half is 15 minutes, in order for both teams to have time to change the pitch and move on to the next half.
  4. There is only 2 minutes of break time between the 3rd and 4th quarter.
  5. Similarly, extra time has also a break of 2 minutes.
  6. Both the teams can go into overtime periods, if they play 4 quarters but still do not find a winner. According to the rules of game, a team with the most points in the 1st extra-time wins.
  7. Both the teams will have to continue their gameplay in the following extra time, if there is an opposite case.

How Long Do the Youth Basketball Games Last?

The youth basketball games last for almost an hour. These games comprises 2 halves of 20 minutes each. However, a youth basketball match uses a running clock, unlike other major leagues. This sort of clock does not stop except for timeouts and halftime breaks.

In addition to these, an interval between sets is almost 10 minutes. The match will be extended by 4 minutes in case of a team calls for timeouts. We need considering to hold their positions and a period to settle down along with the primary audience being children. The score can be tie in several circumstances however, youth basketball games usually do not have overtime.

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How Long Do High School Basketball Games Last?

According to NFHS rules, there are 4 quarters of a high school basketball game. However, every round includes a break of 10-minute and lasts for 8 minutes. Normally, people avoid to use shot clocks in high school games. If a team leads by a specified number of points in the 2nd half, there is a rule which mercifully turns the game clock into a running clock. There are some states which are applying this. Every state has its own rules and regulations therefore, criteria will be different for managing clocks and regulating the time.

Additionally, a junior high school basketball match lasts for minimum 1 hour and 30 minutes. These games have been covering 4 quarters with 6-minute each quarter. The games can also play for 8 minutes in few states.


People are curious to know: how long are college basketball games? On the contrary, world has witnessed a lot of historical basketball games however, we have discussed some example above.


Engr Hamza is a passionate tech blogger and enthusiast with a background in engineering. With a focus on demystifying complex concepts, Hamza delivers practical information and expert advice on the latest tech trends. Stay updated with Engr Hamza on Technocost for insightful product reviews, guides, and tutorials, empowering readers to make informed decisions in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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