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College basketball is basketball played between teams from colleges or universities, usually in the United States. The most popular American college basketball league is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Basketball in the NCAA is put into three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III. However, there are other college basketball leagues, such as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). College basketball teams are split into conferences, which are groups of about 10 teams.
Division I of the NCAA has two tournaments to determine who the national champion. One tournament is for men and one is for women. The men's tournament has 68 teams, and the women's tournament has 64 teams. These tournaments are often called "March Madness".
Compared to professional basketball
NCAA basketball and NBA basketball are different in some ways:
- In NCAA basketball, there are more teams.
- In NCAA basketball, there are fewer games.
- In NCAA basketball, the 3-point line is farther back.
- In NCAA basketball, the game is split into two 20 minute halves instead of four 12 minute quarters.
- In NCAA basketball, the shot clock is 35 seconds instead of 24 seconds.
- In NCAA basketball, the scores are usually lower.