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A Super ACC Tradition

The ACC and Super Bowl Sunday are long term partners

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NCAA Basketball: Miami at Duke
Jan 21, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; Miami (Fl) Hurricanes guard Ja'Quan Newton (0) controls the ball against Duke Blue Devils guard Frank Jackson (15) in the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

A few ACC traditions endure. One is the Duke-North Carolina rivalry. The ACC Tournament at year’s end is another, although its stature has been lessened by the near-equal weight given to a first-place finish during the regular season.

The round-robin is gone. Playing the tournament in the heart of the region, where everyday fans can reach it easily and find affordable accommodations, is gone, certainly through the next two years in Brooklyn.

Maryland, a founding member of the ACC, is gone.

Gone, too, is the quaint notion the conference is an assemblage of like-minded, closeknit universities sharing high academic ideals.

At least we’ve still got an ACC game on Super Bowl Sunday.

The league and our national football holiday have been linked since an undefeated NC State squad led by David Thompson edged a comparably gifted Maryland team 87-85 in January 1973. The late score by the ACC’s greatest player, a tip of a missed shot at the buzzer, sealed the outcome in an unusual national telecast of a college game in that pre-cable, pre-dunk era.

The ACC contest brimmed with drama, in sharp contrast with the lackluster 14-7 Super Bowl that followed. The Miami Dolphins handily won Super Bowl VII despite the close final score, concluding the only undefeated NFL season (17-0) since the 1967 advent of the Game Of Multimillion Dollar Commercials.

The most memorable, and comic, play in that Super Bowl came when a 41-yard field goal try was blocked late in the game. The Dolphins’ left-footed kicker, Garabed “Garo” Yepremian, recovered and tried to pass the ball, only to have it intercepted and run back for a touchdown. That was it for scoring by Washington.

Last season, shortly after Miami took care of Georgia Tech in ACC action, the Super Bowl saw Denver dominate the Carolina Panthers and NFL Player of the Year Cam Newton. This year Clemson, the original ACC member that’s appeared least on Super Bowl Sunday, visits Florida State, making its tenth appearance as prelude to the Main Event.

The matchup reinforces some lingering imbalances in the ACC’s relationship with pro football’s big day.

Certainly it’s strange that Duke, with its competitive pedigree, has appeared prior to fewer Super Bowls than NC State (15), North Carolina (14), Maryland (11 while in the league), Florida State (10), Wake Forest (9), Virginia (9) and Georgia Tech (9).

NC State, at 10-5, remains the most successful and prolific ACC team playing in tandem with the Largest Halftime Show on Earth.

Four former Big East teams -- Boston College, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech -- have yet to participate as ACC members in a prelude encounter for football’s Roman Numeral Extravaganza. BC and Virginia Tech have been in the ACC since the mid-2000s.

This coming weekend marks only the third time Clemson plays to precede the big party, with 20 years between appearances. NFC teams won both times the Tigers played the lower-profile prelim, with New England, one of this year’s Super Bowl entrants, serving as the AFC victim in 1997.

Atlanta, this season’s other Super contestant, lost in 1999 in its only previous trip to the top of the football heap. The same day, Wake Forest topped Maryland and UNC downed Georgia Tech.

New England is making its ninth Super Appearance in the ACC-prelude era, going 4-4 in its previous tries. Florida State played on four of those occasions, beating Miami in 2015 and Savannah State in 2004 and losing to UNC in 2005 and 2008.

FSU is enjoying its eighth Super Spot since 2003, the season Leonard Hamilton arrived at Tallahassee. That’s a remarkable rate of better than once every other year for 15 years -- including five of six Super Bowl Sundays between 2003 and 2008 -- and easily the best by any ACC member over that span.

ACC Records When Playing Same Day As Super Bowl
Team W-L W Pct.
Boston College 0-0 .000
Clemson* 0-2 .000
Duke 4-3 .571
Florida State* 4-5 .444
Georgia Tech 3-6 .333
Louisville 0-0 .000
Maryland 5-6 .455
Miami 2-1 .667
North Carolina 9-5 .643
N.C. State 10-5 .667
Notre Dame 0-0 .000
Pittsburgh 0-1 .000
Syracuse 0-0 .000
Virginia 5-4 .556
Virginia Tech 0-0 .000
Wake Forest 3-6 .333
* 2017 participant.

Date Super Bowl Result Basketball Result
2/5/17 New England v. Atlanta Clemson at Florida State
*Notre Dame at UNC
2/7/16 Denver 24-Carolina 10 Miami 75-Georgia Tech 68
2/1/15 New England 28-Seattle 24 Florida State 55-Miami 54
2/2/14 Seattle 43-Denver 8 Virginia 48-Pittsburgh 45
2/3/13 Baltimore 34- San Francisco 31 Georgia Tech 66-Virginia 60
2/5/12 N.Y. Giants 21-New England 17 Miami 78-Duke 74 (OT)
2/6/11 Green Bay 31-Pittsburgh 25 North Carolina 89-Florida State 69
2/7/10 New Orleans 31-Indianapolis 17 Maryland 92-North Carolina 71
2/1/09 Pittsburgh 27-Arizona 23 Duke 67-Virginia 49
2/3/08 N.Y. Giants 17-New England 14

NC State 67-Wake Forest 65
North Carolina 84-Florida State 73 (OT)

2/4/07 Indianapolis 29-Chicago 17 Florida State 68-Duke 67
2/5/06 Pittsburgh 21-Seattle 10 NC State 62-Maryland 58
2/6/05 New England 24-Philadelphia 21 North Carolina 81-Florida State 60
2/1/04 New England 32-Carolina 29 NC State 81-Maryland 69
Florida State 88-Savannah State 73
1/26/03 Tampa Bay 48-Oakland 21 Wake Forest 71-Florida State 60
ate 86-North Carolina 77
2/3/02 New England 20-St. Louis 17 Maryland 89-NC State 73
Missouri 81-Virginia 77
1/28/01 Baltimore 34-N.Y. Giants 7 North Carolina 60-NC State 52
1/30/00 St. Louis 23-Tennessee 16 Virginia 76-Wake Forest 67
1/31/99 Denver 34-Atlanta 19 Wake Forest 85-Maryland 72
North Carolina 75-Georgia Tech 66
1/25/98 Denver 31-Green Bay 24 Wake Forest 74-Missouri 65
tate 56-Georgia Tech 51
1/26/97 Green Bay 35-New England 21 North Carolina 61-Clemson 48
land 74-Duke 70
1/28/96 Dallas 27-Pittsburgh 17 Duke 83-Maryland 73
ecticut 76-Virginia 46
1/29/95 San Fran 49-San Diego 26 Georgia Tech 81-Florida State 68
1/30/94 Dallas 30-Buffalo 13 North Carolina 85-Wake Forest 61
1/31/93 Dallas 52-Buffalo 17 NC State 72-Clemson 70
ida State 96-Georgia Tech 77
1/26/92 Washington 37-Buffalo 24 NO ACC ACTION
1/27/91 N.Y. Giants 20-Buffalo 19 Georgia Tech 88-North Carolina 86
1/28/90 San Fran 55-Denver 10 Virginia 71-Wake Forest 70 (OT)
88-Georgia Tech 86
1/22/89 San Fran 20-Cincinnati 16 Illinois 103-Ga. Tech 92 (2OT)
1/31/88 Washington 42-Denver 20 NC State 71-DePaul 66
1/25/87 N.Y. Giants 39-Denver 20 Kansas 74-NC State 60
1/26/86 Chicago 46-New England 10 North Carolina 73-Notre Dame 61
1/20/85 San Francisco 38-Miami 16 NO ACC ACTION
1/22/84 L.A. Raiders 38-Washington 9 NO ACC ACTION
1/30/83 Washington 27-Miami 17 Arkansas 68-Wake Forest 65
1/24/82 San Fran 26-Cincinnati 21 Virginia 74-Louisville 56
1/25/81 Oakland 27-Philadelphia 10 Virginia 89-Ohio State 73
1/20/80 Pittsburgh 31-L.A. Rams 19 Maryland 92-North Carolina 86
1/21/79 Pittsburgh 35-Dallas 31 Duke 75-NC State 69
1/15/78 Dallas 27-Denver 10 North Carolina 71-Wake Forest 69
1/9/77 Oakland 32-Minnesota 14 Maryland 87-NC State 80
1/18/76 Pittsburgh 21-Dallas 17 NC State 68-North Carolina 67
1/12/75 Pittsburgh 16-Minnesota 6 NO ACC ACTION
1/13/74 Miami 24-Minnesota 7 NC State 80-Maryland 74
1/14/73 Miami 14-Washington 7 NC State 87-Maryland 85
* The Notre Dame-UNC game was originally scheduled for Saturday
but moved to Sunday due to a water emergency in Chapel Hill

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