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How Long is NCAA March Madness

You are ready for one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s March Madness! You are filling out brackets and keeping track of all the action. How long is March Madness? What about one game? Here’s what you need to know about the length of the tournament and games.

The NCAA College Basketball Tournament

The NCAA basketball tournament consists of 68 teams. The bracket is broken up into four regions and teams receive a seed from 1 to 16. Teams battle it out in a single-elimination tournament to reach the National Championship game. The NCAA National Championship is usually played in early April.

A selection committee reveals a bracket of 32 automatic bids and 38 at-large bids. Teams earn automatic bids for winning their conference tournaments. At-large bids are handed out based on strength of schedule, record, and more.

For the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, there is a round of the tournament before the First Round that is called First Four. It consists of eight teams playing in four play-in games. The women’s tournament expanded to 68 teams in 2022 and also has a First Four set of games.

How Long are March Madness Games

College basketball games consist of two halves that have a 20-minute clock. Each time has six timeouts. Four full timeouts which are 75 seconds and two 30-second timeouts. During March Madness, there is also a TV timeout every four minutes. There is also the chance of overtime in an NCAA Division I basketball game.

Overall, a March Madness basketball game takes about two hours to complete. If there are fewer fouls and timeouts called, it can be between an hour and 40 minutes and two hours. Also, in the regular season, halftime is only 15 minutes while it’s 20 minutes during the tournament.

NCAA Tournament Schedule

The tournament starts with the First Four games which are played on Tuesday and Wednesday following selection Sunday. Next up, the First and Second rounds take place at the end of the week from Thursday to Sunday. The selection show for the men’s tournament is airing on Sunday, March 12 at 6 p.m. eastern time on CBS.

For the 2023 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the schedule is as follows:

First Four Games: March 14-15

First-Second Round: March 16-19

Sweet 16 and Elite Eight: March 23-26

Final Four: April 1

National Championship: April 3

Overall, the tournament runs from mid-March until the beginning of April for both the men’s and women’s championships. Tournament games are played across the country at different regional sites.

How Long is March Madness FAQs

When does March Madness start?

The First Round of the NCAA Tournament basketball championship begins on March 16, 2023. The First Four games take place on March 14 and 15. Selection Sunday reveals the bracket on March 12, 2023. The show airs at 6 p.m. on CBS.

When is the Final Four?

The Final Four is on April 1, 2023. The National Semifinal games will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The National Title game is on April 3. The women’s Final Four will be played in Dallas, Texas on March 31.

How long is a March Madness basketball game?

A March Madness game is usually around two hours long. This depends on many factors such as timeouts, fouls, and if the game goes into overtime.

How long does March Madness go for?

The Tournament starts on March 14, 2023, and runs until the National Championship game on April 3. Last season, number 1 seed Kansas was the winner of 2022 March Madness after beating North Carolina.