|Written by Michael Patrick|
Bet on NCAABFreshman Harrison Barnes has lived up to the hype over the last 10 games. The preseason first-team All-American struggled a little at the beginning of the season, but can you blame him, I can't remember the last time a freshman was named a preseason first team All-American.
This afternoon against Clemson, the freshman phenom proved the preseason accolades were well-deserved. Barnes lit up the Tigers for 40 points and led the Tar Heels to a 92-87 overtime victory.
In overtime, Barnes hit the go ahead three point field goal with 4:13 remaining, and the Tar Heels never looked back. The Three propelled the Heels to a 9-0 run and proved to be the difference in the game. The victory capped the second day of comebacks for the slow-starting Heels. In their opening round match-up, the Heels trailed by 19 points to Miami and battled their way back.
This afternoon, they trailed the Tigers by 14 at one point but found a way to get back into the ballgame thanks to Barnes. Barnes finished 12-17 from the field, hitting 6 three point field goals and was a nearly perfect 10-11 from the foul line, the biggest foul shots coming near the end of the extra period with the Tar Heels barely clinging to a 90-87 lead.
North Carolina also got 187 points from Jon Henson. Henson stepped up his play in the second half and the extra period, chipping in 13 of his 18 during this stretch. For the Heels, this will be their first trip to the ACC championship in three years.
Now they must wait and see the outcome of the Duke game. If the Blue Devils are able to pull-off a victory, the match-up between the two in-state rivals will be much anticipated. The Tar Heels knocked the Devils off last weekend to end the ACC regular season.