UNC To Play In Meineke Car Care Bowl

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of North Carolina has accepted an invitation to play in the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 27, in Charlotte, N.C.

The game will be nationally televised by ESPN at 1 pm. Carolina will face West Virginia of the Big East Conference. Tickets for the game may be purchased at TarHeelBlue.com.

"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to continue our season and play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl," said head coach Butch Davis. "Charlotte is an outstanding city and is a great location for our fans to watch us play. I'm proud of our players for their hard work and effort this year against a difficult schedule. We will face a challenge against an outstanding West Virginia team that was the preseason pick to win the Big East conference."

North Carolina finished the regular season 8-4 – a four-game improvement from last year – against the nation's 10th-most difficult schedule according to the Sagarin rankings. Carolina is No. 20 overall in the most recent Sagarin rankings (Dec. 6). The Tar Heels defeated four bowl eligible teams in 2008 and had three wins over ranked teams.

"I'm excited for our players, coaches and fans for the opportunity to play in the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte," said North Carolina Athletic Director Dick Baddour. "Our program has made significant strides under the leadership of Coach Davis and I congratulate our student-athletes for their hard work and determination this season. North Carolina has always enjoyed a great relationship with the city of Charlotte. We had fantastic fan support in our previous bowl game here in 2004 and this will be another outstanding opportunity for our fans to follow the team in the postseason."

"We are tremendously excited to have the University of North Carolina in the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl," said Will Webb, Executive Director. "The Tar Heels have made tremendous progress this year as a team. We feel that they will prove to be a very strong opponent for West Virginia. Both teams have great support from large, dedicated fan bases. This year's Meineke Car Care Bowl will be a great game on the field and off."

North Carolina faced Boston College in the 2004 bowl game in Charlotte (then named the Continental Tire Bowl). The game was sold out with Carolina fans accounting for an estimated 65,000 tickets.

The Meineke Car Care Bowl has averaged more than 60,000 fans during its first six years, with two sellouts. It has reached over 13.5 million television households. In 2003, it was named one of the five-best start-ups in sports over the past five years by the Sports Business Journal, behind only the NFL Houston Texans and ESPN the Magazine.

The inaugural game, played on December 28, 2002 before a sold-out stadium, saw Virginia defeat West Virginia, 48-22. On December 27, 2003, Virginia once again claimed victory, this time over Pittsburgh, 23-16. The third year again produced a sellout, as Boston College defeated North Carolina, 37-24, on December 30, 2004. NC State defeated South Florida, 14-0, on December 31, 2005. Boston College defeated Navy 25-24, on a field goal as time expired on December 30, 2006. And last year, Wake Forest defeated UConn, 24-10 on December 29, 2007. For more information, please visit www.MeinekeCarCareBowl.com .

This is just the second meeting between the Tar Heels and Mountaineers. The two teams only other meeting came in the 1997 Gator Bowl, a 20-13 UNC victory.

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