How Long Are College Basketball Games

Basketball, despite being a widely practiced sport in the United States, the reality is that it has spread a lot throughout the world. For this reason, we see how much of the world follows the news of the NBA. And even the clothing of the different teams has become fashionable. Basketball is one of the sports preferred by both young and old in the world. Thus, the question: “how long are college basketball games?” tends to be quite popular today. Regarding this question, a comprehensive answer would be given in the proceeding paragraphs.

It is an enjoyable sport since with a ball and a hoop we can spend hours having fun with friends or even involve our children, keeping them entertained with a very healthy activity.

However, sometimes sitting down to watch a college basketball game would be quite daunting if you do not know what time will end.

How long are College Basketball Games?

How Long Are College Basketball Games

A basketball game lasts according to the professional level and the league, and with regards to college basketball games length, it usually lasts for about 2 hours in length. This time is always approximate due to other calls, but the actual game for men consists of two halves with 20 minutes allotted for each half. For women, the games are played in four 10-minute quarters.

Furthermore, it’s also best to keep in mind that a college basketball game usually has some interruptions between timeout, average rest times, extra time, etc. The final duration of each game can vary due to these factors. Therefore, the duration set for the actual game, the timeouts, breaks, extra – time (if there is a tie), and whenever the clock stops during the match must be added. Beyond all these, there is a fixed time established, which spans across two halves with 20 minutes each for the men’s category, and four 10-minute quarters for the women’s category.

Special Features of the Timekeeping in College Basketball Games

Unlike in football, for example, in basketball college games, the time runs out uniquely. This is not only ensured by the referee but also by the timekeeper at the scoreboard. This means that every game interruption (e.g., after a basket or a foul) alters the current game time, and the clock only restarts when the whistle starts again.

Special timekeepers also ensure compliance with the attack time, which must not exceed 24 seconds per attack. It is crucial for this time rule to be obeyed so that the release takes place within 24 seconds. The actual basket can also be achieved after 24 seconds, as this is the precise time when the throw interval begins to count. Whenever a team gains control of the ball, this 24 seconds then starts counting as well. 

The game clock is also interrupted every time. The referee stops the gameplay (via a whistle blow), at the end of a half, or whenever a timeout is approved after a basket. On the other hand, tapping after a jump ball (opening of the game by the referee), an unsuccessful free throw, and touching the ball after a throw-in is the signs for the restart of playing time.

How long are College Basketball Games: The Breaks and Interruptions?

How Long Are College Basketball Games

The regular breaks in college basketball games usually span for over 15 minutes between the first and second half. Switching sides already takes up a larger part of these breaks. The halftime break is generally used for a tactical discussion with the coach and regeneration. The 15-minute break is used before each extra time, and if a debut at the end of the average time. This will be extended by five minutes until a winner is determined.

There is also a special rule for interruptions in the last two minutes of a game. To prevent a game from losing time during this period, the clock is interrupted in the previous two minutes of average time. This usually occurs in extra time, even after a successful basket as well. Otherwise, the clock will continue to run after a field basket to keep the game flowing.

This interruption can also be used for player changes and unannounced time outs – so it is easy to see why the entire playing time is often twice as long as the actual playing time. 

In contrast to football, for example, there is no limit to the number of player changes. But these are strictly regulated. If a player gets injured, he must be replaced within 15 seconds. Otherwise, the change will be counted as a timeout. Changes are made when the ball is dead and by the team in possession. An interruption in the event of a foul or a timeout can also be used to change players. If the team in control of the ball changes a player, the opposing team can also use the time to change players.

Read More: Do Basketball Players Take Growth Hormones?

How long College Basketball Games are: The Time outs for the Coach? 

In college basketball games, each team is allowed to take four-time outs during the regular playing time. This entails two-time outs in the first and second halves, respectively. In each extra time, each team is also entitled to a timeout. These are used by the coaches to tactically re-adjust their team or disrupt the opposing team’s flow. A break is to be understood as a tactical means in any case as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are college basketball quarters?

Women’s college basketball is made up of 4 quarters, and each usually lasts for 10 minutes.  

What is the longest college basketball game ever played?

The longest college basketball game ever played lasted for over four hours. And it was between Bradley and Cincinnati on December 21, 1981. After six overtimes, the two teams were still tied. Cincinnati only defeated Bradley in the seventh period of the overtime. Interestingly, this is a low-scoring game with a score of 75-73. The game started at 7:30 pm and ended at 11:20 pm. in the 

How long are college Bball halves?

The men’s college basketball halves are made up of two halves with 20 minutes allotted for each half.

What is the most overtimes in basketball?

The most overtimes in basketball was six. The game was between Indianapolis Olympians and Rochester Royals. Indianapolis Olympians came out victories, winning by a final score of 75-73. They also scored two points in the sixth overtime and prevented the Rochester Royals from scoring all through.

What’s the highest-scoring college basketball game?

The highest-scoring college basketball game took place in between the Troy State Trojans and the DeVry Hoyas. The Troy State Trojans defeated the DeVry Hoyas 258-141 in the end. Quite further interesting was the fact that the game didn’t have an OT. Troy state scored 123 points in the first half and then 135 points in the second half.

Has the NBA always had 12 minute quarters?

Yes. From the start of the NBA, it has always had 12 minute quarters.

How long are middle school basketball games       

Middle school basketball games usually last for over 1 hour and 30 minutes. The games also have four quarters that are typically 6 minutes long and halftime that lasts for around 10 minutes.

What player has the most blocked shots of all time?

As a basketball player, blocking shots is one of the best things to do. Whenever you prevent your competitors from getting buckets, it will leave you with an excellent feeling. And for this, Hakeem Olajuwon currently holds the record in NBA with over 3,830 blocks.

How long is a basketball court?

A basketball court is usually 91.86ft long, and the total playing area usually spans across 4520.43 ft².

What is the longest NFL game?

The longest NFL game ever played was between Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs on December 25, 1971. And the game lasted for over 82 minutes, 40 seconds.

Did college basketball ever have four quarters?

Yes. For women, college basketball games are usually played in four 10-minute quarters.


In conclusion, basketball is a sport that captures the attention of thousands of fans worldwide, and it is incredible how it has spread across the globe. Furthermore, because basketball is made up of problematic basketball length of game rules, it is difficult to predict precisely how long a game will last. But as highlighted above, there is a fixed time established, which spans across two halves with 20 minutes each for the men’s category, and four 10-minute quarters for the women’s category. Also, since endless overtimes can be played theoretically until a winner has been determined, particularly tight games can take a longer playing time.

Now that you know the duration of college basketball games, you can prepare everything to stay seated on the sofa and enjoy every game without problems. You can also call your friends so they would meet you up for a few snacks while enjoying a college basketball game.