What is NCAA Basketball?

NCAA basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States. There are three levels of NCAA basketball, with Division I being the highest and the most popular.

The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is one of the biggest sporting events to take place each year, and it brings in a large number of wagers. If you take a look at results of college basketball odds, you can see why the tournament is referred to as "March Madness" thanks to the unpredictability of the games. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop us from making college basketball predictions - it’s all part of the fun!

This article will explain some of the key rules for college basketball and will also provide some general information. If you know who plays college basketball today then some additional links at the bottom of this page are provided to help guide you to some of the best places to learn more about the sport and find betting options such as college basketball picks and predictions.

Betting Sites

How Long Is a College Basketball Game?

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NCAA basketball games are 40 minutes in length as long as there is a winner at the end of that time period. An overtime period is five additional minutes as needed, and the game will be played out until a winner is determined.

How Long Is College Basketball ‘Halftime’?

Most regular-season college basketball games include a halftime period of 15 minutes. For the NCAA Tournament games, there is a 20-minute halftime period.

How Many Quarters Are in College Basketball?

Women’s college basketball has four 10-minute quarters, while the men’s game has two 20-minute halves. Men’s college basketball is the only form of basketball in the US that does not have quarters.

How Many Periods Are in College Basketball?

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There are no periods in college basketball as the game is broken down into either four quarters (women) or two halves (men).

When Is the NCAA Basketball Tournament?

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is held each year beginning in the third week of March and ending the first weekend of April. The dates change every year, but the tournament always begins on a Tuesday night with the “First Four” games.

Selection Sunday precedes the tournament, and this is one of the biggest days of the calendar year for sports fans.

Who Won the NCAA Basketball Championship in 2019?

The Virginia Cavaliers won the 2019 NCAA Basketball Championship by defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Here is a list of the last five NCAA basketball champions prior to 2019:

  • 2018: Villanova Wildcats
  • 2017: North Carolina Tar Heels
  • 2016: Villanova Wildcats
  • 2015: Duke Blue Devils
  • 2014: UConn Huskies

When Does College Basketball Start?

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NCAA basketball season officially starts in the middle of October as practices can begin. The first official games can be played at the beginning of November, with that date changing slightly each year.

Most Division I conferences don’t start league play until after the first of the year, but some will have some conference games in December. Conference tournaments are then held the first or second week of March so that all are wrapped up by Selection Sunday.

How Long Do College Basketball Games Last?

Most college basketball teams will play close to 30 games during a regular season. Conference tournaments can range anywhere from one to five games for each team.

The NCAA Tournament includes 68 teams in the field, and teams will have to win six or seven games to be crowned the NCAA Tournament champion. There is a limit to how many games one team can play prior to the NCAA Tournament, but playing in tournaments can change the number of games allowed.

How Many Games Are in the NCAA Basketball Season?

The number of games for each NCAA Basketball team varies, but the average is typically right around 30 games per year. UConn and Michigan hold the record for most games played with 41 total games.

Once conference tournament and NCAA Tournament play starts, the more games you win, the more games you will get to play.

Who Has the Most NCAA Basketball Championships?

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The UCLA Bruins have won 11 NCAA Basketball Championships, which is the most all-time. Their last championship came in 1995, but they won seven straight championships from 1967-1973.

Here is a look at the other teams in the top five:

  • Kentucky Wildcats (8)
  • North Carolina Tar Heels (6)
  • Duke Blue Devils (5)
  • Indiana Hoosiers (5)

College Basketball Rankings

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What Are the NCAA Basketball Rankings?

There are two main college basketball rankings that can be found weekly. The first is the Associated Press poll, and the second is the coaches poll.

Writers vote in the AP poll, and that is typically the one that is used by sites when displaying rankings. All Division I coaches can participate in the coaches poll, but it is not a requirement.

These polls have no significance when it comes time for the NCAA Tournament as the Selection Committee determines where teams should fall in the bracket. The Selection Committee will release the top 16 teams in the month of February and will make changes each week.

Bettors tend to look at the AP Poll rankings when trying to determine the top team in each matchup. These rankings do change weekly during the season, but they tend to become a better representation of the top teams near the end of the season.

When Do NCAA Basketball Rankings Come Out?

The NCAA Basketball rankings are released every Monday after all of the votes have been collected. The Top 25 is revealed along with any other team that receives votes.

When Are NCAA Basketball Rankings Updated?

The NCAA basketball rankings are updated each week, and there tends to be quite a bit of movement within the Top 25. One loss can really affect a team’s rankings, and new teams can jump into the Top 25 with a major win.

The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee looks at the entire body of work when coming up with the NCAA Tournament seedings, and those rankings don’t move as much. When the Selection Committee begins releasing the top 16 teams, those teams won’t move around a ton.

Once the NCAA Selection Committee releases the tournament field, those seeds are locked in place. That will help bettors get a better understanding of where teams stand for the entire duration of the tournament.

How Many NCAA Basketball Teams Are There?

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There are currently 1,036 NCAA Basketball teams that compete across the three levels of competition. These teams can move across the different levels, but there is a process for this to happen.

In 2020-21, there are 350 men’s Division I basketball teams and 349 women’s Division I basketball teams.

Timeouts in College Basketball

Each college basketball team is given four “full” timeouts, and two “30-second” timeouts to use during a game. One of these “30-second” timeouts is only available for the first half and does not carry over.

For televised college basketball games, there will also be media timeouts in play. These timeouts are agreed upon before the game and are usually done at the first stoppage of play after the 16-, 12-, eight-, and four-minute marks.

Timeouts can only be called when a team is in possession of the ball, or they can be called during a dead-ball situation.

College Basketball Coaches

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To become a college basketball coach, it typically takes a number of years and plenty of patience. College basketball coaches have to work their way up the ladder, and most start out as a student or graduate assistants.

Typically, some sort of education or sports management degree is required to get into the coaching profession.

How Much Do College Basketball Coaches Make?

The top college basketball coaches at the Division I level make millions of dollars. John Calipari at Kentucky makes over $8 million per year, and most coaches at the Division I level make close to or over a million per year.

How Much Do College Basketball Refs Make?

Most college basketball refs are full-time employees with a median salary of close to $36,000. This number can change depending on what league and at what level the referees are working at.

What Channel is College Basketball On?

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Viewers can see what NCAA basketball games are on today on a number of different channels, including ESPN, FoxSports1, FOX, CBS, ABC, and NBC. The NCAA Tournament is on CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV.

Some of these channels offer college basketball streams as part of their package, so definitely head on over there to see what college basketball games are on tonight.

How To Get Recruited for College Basketball

To get recruited to play college basketball, you have to be one of the best high school basketball players in the country or one of the top international players in the world. Most recruiting is done over the summer, and AAU basketball plays a large role in the recruiting process.

High school coaches can also send out highlight tapes or game footage to college coaches to get a player’s name out there. Recruiting can begin as early as junior high age but ramps up during your junior and senior years of high school. So if you want to know how to get recruited for college basketball, train hard and start recording your game footage to be compiled and sent out!

Resources / Further Reading

If you’re hungry for some more advanced reading, head over to to the NCAA basketball odds page to find out who plays college basketball tonight

FAQ

Who is number one in college basketball?

The debate of “who is the best team in college basketball?” has been going on forever, but Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, and Duke are considered the “blue-bloods” of college basketball, and these are the four winningest programs of all time.

When does college basketball season start?

NCAA basketball season practices usually begin in the middle of October, with games typically starting at the beginning of November.

How long is a college basketball court?

A college basketball court is 94 feet long and 50 feet wide.

How many minutes are in a college basketball game?

There are 40 minutes in a regulation college basketball game. That is the same for both men’s and women’s basketball.

How many players are on a college basketball team?

There are 13 Division I scholarships available for each college basketball team, but each team can carry walk-on players. Most teams will have 15 to 16 players on the roster each season.

Who won the NCAA Basketball Championship last year?

The 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was canceled due to COVID-19, so there was no champion crowned. The year prior to that saw Virginia Cavaliers take the Championship.

Who won NCAA Basketball Championship in 2019?

The Virginia Cavaliers won the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

Who won NCAA Basketball in 2018?

The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Michigan Wolverines to win the NCAA Tournament in 2018.

Who won the 2016 NCAA Basketball Championship?

In 2016, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels to win the NCAA Tournament on a buzzer-beating three-point shot.

How much do college basketball referees make?

The median salary of NCAA basketball referees is a little more than $36,000.

How much do college basketball players make?

NCAA Basketball players are on a full or partial athletic scholarship, but they are unable to receive any pay for playing.

When does the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament start?

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starts the third week of March and concludes the first weekend of April.

How long is a ‘half’ in college basketball?

Each half in a men’s college basketball game is 20 minutes long.

How many fouls in college basketball are allowed?

Each player is allowed five fouls before they are disqualified from a college basketball game.

How many NCAA Division I basketball teams are there?

There are 350 men’s and 349 women’s Division I basketball teams in 2020-21.

How many timeouts in college basketball are there?

Each team is allowed four “full” timeouts, and two “30-second” timeouts; one of which is only available for the first half and does not carry over.

Do college basketball players get paid?

NCAA basketball players are not paid in money; they are compensated with partial or full athletic scholarship.

When do NCAA basketball rankings update?

NCAA basketball rankings are updated once a week throughout the season.