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Leap Year Games In The ACC

17 Leap Years and counting

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Wake Forest
 Feb 25, 2020; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Justin Robinson (50) shoots the ball against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second half at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

There have been 17 leap years over the 67 seasons the ACC has been in existence.

Leap Day, February 29, came and went seven times without an ACC men’s basketball game – in 1956, 1960, 1968, 1976, 1996, 2000 and 2008. That makes the 2020 season the tenth in which an ACC game is played on Feb. 29. And not just one game but six, more than any other Leap Day in league history.

This will be the eighth time both North Carolina and NC State played games on Feb. 29, more than anyone else.

The Tar Heels hold the cherished ACC record for victories on Leap Day at 4-3, followed by Duke (3-1) and NC State (3-4). Oddly, in what may be the longest scheduling rotation in history, after hosting Syracuse on Feb. 29, 2016, this year the Tar Heels travel to the Carrier Dome for a return Leap Day engagement.

No team that’s played more than once on Feb. 29 is undefeated on that date. No team that’s played more than once is winless on the date, either.

Ireland reportedly marks the date as Bachelor’s Day, on which women are “allowed” to propose marriage. Men who say no have to pay a penalty. No word on consequences when women say no to other women, a recent complication.

Speaking of the Irish, this year marks Notre Dame’s first Leap Day appearance as an ACC member.

People born on Feb. 29 are called leaplings, leapers or 29ers. Or not.

One leapling succeeded in getting the border towns of Anthony, Texas, and Anthony, New Mexico to jointly declare themselves Leap Year Capitals of the World. (There is no border wall dividing them yet, despite the name of the smaller, western state.) The towns are near El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Since 1988 the municipalities have hosted a four-day Worldwide Leap Year Festival. Even though years pass between events, providing plenty of time to plan, according to the website maintained by the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies, organizers have yet to line up a festival sponsor for 2020.

By the way, four ACC hombres grew up in Texas: Duke’s Justin Robinson, Louisville’s Samuel Williamson and Quinn Slazinski, and Miami’s Kameron McGusty. Clemson’s Khavon Moore, a Georgia product, transferred from Texas Tech. He played two minutes for that school in 2019, which ended with a loss to UVa in the national championship game.

Virginia’s Francisco Caffaro is from Santa Fe — the one in Argentina, not New Mexico.

Games Played on Leap Year as ACC Members
(Teams in ACC When Played, Home Team Underlined)
Season Opposing Teams and Scores
2020 Pittsburgh at NC State
Florida State at Clemson
Notre Dame at Wake Forest
North Carolina at Syracuse
Duke at Virginia
Miami at Georgia Tech
2016 North Carolina 75-Syracuse 70
2012 Boston College 56-Georgia Tech 52
North Carolina 88-Maryland 64
NC State 77-Miami 73
2008 None
2004 Duke 70-Florida State 65
North Carolina 71-NC State 64
2000 None
1996 None
1992 Georgia Tech 98-NC State
Virginia 69-Clemson 49
1988 NC State 87-UNC Asheville 76
1984 Clemson 77-Duke 76
North Carolina 69-Georgia Tech 56
Maryland 63-NC State 50
Virginia 65-Wake Forest 61
1980 Duke 75-North Carolina 61, ACC Tournament
Maryland 91-Clemson 85, ACC Tournament
1976 None
1972 NC State 85-North Carolina 84
1968 None
1964 Clemson 90-Virginia 73
Duke 104-North Carolina 69
Wake Forest 74-NC State 55
1960 None
1956 None