College basketball is different from the “normal” basketball you are used to in the Netherlands: both in organization and in atmosphere. You don’t play for a club team, but for the team of a university. In America, the leagues and the (financial) stakes in college basketball are so high that an enormous amount of money is spent on it. For almost every American youth basketball player, the goal is to play for a good college basketball team.
An average basketball team consists of 20 boys or girls, which train together every day. Together with your team, you compete against other universities in your conference. The ultimate goal? Winning the conference! That’s how you qualify for the national tournament, a tournament where the 64 best teams of America participate in. The national NCAA basketball tournament is also called ”March Madness”.
A typical college basketball game is played in 2 halfs of 20 minutes. Those are different rules compared to the NBA.
The main difference is the ambiance in and out of the stadiums during those matches. Team mates and fans make a lot of noise, cheer for each other and yell motivating stuff. So it’s no surprise when you hear thousands of students cheering for the university team. The matches are broadcasted on live television and huge sponsorships are collected during those matches. The energy level is very high!