Overtime in College Basketball: How Long, What the NCAA Rules Say

The first game of March Madness this year lived up to the tournament's name. The seven-seed University of Rhode Island played the 10-seed University of Oklahoma in the first game of the men’s tournament and madness ensued.

Prior to the game, some predicted Oklahoma would upset URI and move on to the next round. Regulation time for the game ended with the teams tied at 69 and overtime started after a brief intermission. After one period of overtime, Rhode Island came out on top winning 83-78.

There will likely be more overtime and more madness throughout the rest of the tournament, so here’s a refresher on how extra periods work.

Overtime in college basketball is fairly simple because it’s basically just five-minute continuations of the second half until one team wins.

Each overtime period lasts five minutes and begins after a short one-minute intermission from the second half of the regulation game or the prior extra period. As many overtime periods as necessary are played until “at the end of any extra period, the score is not tied,” states the NCAA rulebook.

Since overtime is played as an extension of the second half, teams continue shooting on the same net as they were in the second half, according to the NCAA rulebook. Additionally, for each extra period of play, each team is granted one 75-second timeout, teams can also use any timeouts they did not use during regulation time.

While disqualifications and ejections do carry over from regulation time to extra periods, no other penalties or part of any penalties carryover. Meaning if a player fouls out of the game sometime in either the first or second half, they aren’t allowed to come back into the game for any extra period that is played.

march madness court 2018 The court at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, prior to the first game of the March Madness 2018 tournament March 15, 2018. Rob Carr/Getty Images