The Average Score of College Basketball Games
While all college basketball games are known as being unpredictable, calculated scoring averages in both Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division I games offer some insight into what final scores may look like.
Scoring average for NCAA DI Men’s and Women’s basketball:
- Men: around 67.875 points per game
- Women: around 60.937 points per game
*These figures are calculated by adding 16 teams’ point totals together on a particular night and dividing that number by 16.
NCAA basketball games are generally lower scoring than NBA games for the following reasons:
1. Game Length and Personal Fouls
- NCAA Men’s Division I games consist of two halves, each 20 minutes long; NBA games consist of four quarters, each 12 minutes long
- NCAA Men’s Division I games allow players five personal fouls before disqualification; NBA games allow six personal fouls before disqualification
2. Team Play and Shot Clock
- College basketball games emphasize more team play; NBA games focus more on one-on-one matchups, and coaches often design plays to showcase their players’ abilities.
- College basketball uses a 30-second shot clock; the NBA uses a 24-second shot clock
3. Athletic Skill
- College basketball players are younger, more prone to miss open shots and commit more turnovers, and have school and other commitments to tend to; NBA players are older and more consistent with their shooting, and do not have things like school that would prevent them from working on their game at any time
4. Defensive Rules
- The NCAA has no limits on what type of zone defense can be played, making scoring more difficult; in the NBA, players can only stay in the lane for three seconds at a time, opening the path to the lane and creating more shot opportunities for offensive players
Wade Harle began writing professionally in 2011 and holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Iowa State University. His work on sports and other topics has been published on various websites.