NCAA Basketball Overtime Rules

Close up of young man, midsection, holding a basketball

When the buzzer sounds signaling the end of regulation, a tied NCAA basketball game goes into overtime. Each extra period lasts five minutes with one-minute intermissions between them. If one extra period ends and the score remains tied, the teams play another extra period. This continues until an overtime period ends with an untied score. In 2009, Syracuse and Connecticut took this to the extreme, playing through six overtimes for a total of 3 hours and 46 minutes before the Orange finally got the best of the Huskies, 127-117.

Playing Extra Periods

Each overtime begins as the game begins, with a jump ball. However, the periods are otherwise considered an extension of the second half, and the teams don't change baskets. Each team acquires one additional 75-second timeout at the beginning of each overtime period. In games subject to the NCAA electronic-media agreement provisions calling for at least three media timeouts per half, the first timeout called during the extra period becomes an media timeout, and each team gains an additional 30-second timeout.