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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
The Duke Blue Devils, representing the Atlantic Coast Conference, have accepted a bid to the 2012 Belk Bowl and will face the Cincinnati Bearcats, Co-Champions of the Big East Conference.
Both teams will be making their first appearance in the game.
The 11th annual Belk Bowl will take place on Thursday, December 27, with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. The first college bowl game to call the Carolinas home, the Bowl has averaged almost 60,000 fans each year with three sellouts. In addition, the game has reached 28 million television households.
In addition to the game, the Belk Bowl FanFest will feature a free concert with Lady Antebellum outside the stadium prior to kickoff.
"We are thrilled to announce that Duke University will be playing in the 2012 Belk Bowl against the University of Cincinnati," said Belk Bowl Executive Director Will Webb. "Duke has made great strides this season and we are very proud to have them representing the ACC against the Co-Champions of the Big East. We feel that the Blue Devils will provide a good matchup against the Bearcats in Charlotte. We look forward to hosting both Duke and Cincinnati, and their fans, for the 2012 Belk Bowl and all the surrounding events."
"We are very excited about hosting the Blue Devils and Bearcats, and their fans, in Charlotte for the first time," said Jon Pollack, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and E-Commerce of Belk. "Both teams performed very will and bring strong teams to the game. We know they will enjoy our Modern Southern Style of football!"
Duke finished the season with a 6-6 overall record (3-5 in the ACC, fifth in the Coastal Division). Duke won six of its first eight games, including a 33-30 win over rival North Carolina to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1994.
Head Coach David Cutcliffe was named the 2012 ACC Coach of the Year, and nine Blue Devils earned All-ACC recognition following the regular season. With senior quarterback Sean Renfree headlining the offense, Duke is the only team in the nation to have three receivers with 60-plus receptions this season.
Cincinnati finished the regular season with a 9-3 overall record (5-2 in the Big East, tied for first place). They won their first five games, and then four of their last five games. The Bearcats share a piece of the Big East title for the fourth time in five seasons.
Tickets for the Belk Bowl are on sale now and only available through Ticketmaster and the participating schools. Upper Level Seats begin at just $35.
To purchase individual tickets, please visit any Ticketmaster outlet in the southeast or online at www.ticketmaster.com. To order from Ticketmaster by phone, call 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Carolina Panthers Box Office, located at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.