How many quarters in college basketball?

College basketball. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
College basketball. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Basketball fans may be used to seeing action split into four quarters but that’s not how it works in the world of men’s college basketball.

The NCAA Tournament does a great job of bringing eyes to the sport of college basketball each year.

The excitement of filling out a bracket and watching it go bust is universal, regardless of if you’re a super fan or someone who just loves the madness.

For fans who are used to watching pro basketball or seeing it played in other forms, it can be slightly strange to catch a college game and see 20 minute periods on the clock.

How many quarters in college basketball?

In fact, there are no quarters in college basketball. There are only two halves.

Each half is 20 minutes long and separated by halftime.

Within those 20-minute halves, there are some regular stoppages for games shown on television. Media timeouts are called at prearranged intervals depending on the agreement with the broadcaster.

So if you see a “2nd” on the score bug while watching the NCAA Tournament, don’t get tricked into thinking the game is still in the early stages. The “2nd” means “2nd half” and the game is actually almost over.

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