NCAA approves extending 3-point line to international distance in men’s basketball

In down year from arc, CU Buffs fared well from new distance in NIT

Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Colorado’s D’Shawn Schwartz takes a shot over Dayton’s Ryan Mikesell during the Buffs’ 78-73 win Tuesday at CU Events Center.
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If the Colorado men’s basketball team rebounds from a sub-par season at the 3-point line, the Buffaloes will do so from a slightly more challenging distance.

On Wednesday, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving the 3-point line in men’s basketball to the international distance of 22 feet, 1 ¾ inches. The approval was expected, and it will go into effect immediately for the 2019-20 men’s basketball season at the Division I level. It will be implemented at the Division II and III levels for the 2020-21 season.

The arc was moved to 20 feet, 9 inches before the 2008-09 season after holding steady at 19 feet, 9 inches since the 3-point shot was introduced to college basketball in the 1986-87 season. The move was recommended last month by the men’s basketball Rules Committee, which features CU coach Tad Boyle as its chairman.

The Buffaloes reached the quarterfinals of the NIT, which utilized the international 3-point line as a sort of dress rehearsal for the new distance. CU finished the season with a .323 3-point percentage, the second-lowest in Boyle’s nine seasons, but the Buffs shot slightly better than their season norm with the longer 3-point line during NIT home wins against Dayton and Norfolk State, going 14-for-40 (.350). However, the Buffs finished the NIT with a 4-for-17 mark on 3-pointers in a loss at Texas.

When the Rules Committee advanced its recommendation three weeks ago, Boyle told BuffZone.com: “The thought is by extending the line, you bring offensive players a little further way from the basket, which brings defensive players further away from the basket and allow more freedom of movement and driving opportunities and it will open the game up more.”

The Oversight Panel approved a number of other proposals Wednesday:

  • On offensive rebounds, the shot clock will be reset to just 20 seconds. That rule also was in play during the NIT.
  • Coaches will be allowed to call live-ball timeouts during the final two minutes of the second half as well as the final two minutes in overtime.
  • Technical fouls will be assessed if players use “derogatory language about an opponent’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identify, sexual orientation or disability.”