Harrison Barnes: March Madness Predictions for North Carolina Star

Justin KeithCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 11:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels walks off of the court after they lost 85-82 against the Florida State Seminoles during the Final Game of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament at Philips Arena on March 11, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It is no secret that the North Carolina Tar Heels will rely heavily on Harrison Barnes during the NCAA tournament. 

Barnes has been the main cog in the Heels' lineup for the past couple of seasons, and they will need a big performance from Barnes if they want to make a deep run into the Final Four. 

If anyone is up to the challenge, it's Harrison Barnes. 

This season, Barnes averaged 17.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season for North Carolina; a team that is stacked with talent. 

That said, Barnes will have even better numbers during the tournament. 

UNC will have a tough road to the national championship in its bracket, and Barnes will need to not only put up big scoring numbers but also contribute on the glass and dishing the ball. 

Barnes' athleticism and shooting ability can make him virtually unstoppable on offense if he puts all of his skills together. If he can attack the rim with consistency during the tournament as well, he could be in line for a huge performance. 

But Barnes' effective will not just come with his scoring ability. His rebounding will also be key for North Carolina, especially if big man John Henson isn't 100 percent healthy. He has the ability to attack the glass, both offensively and defensively, and be a force in the rebounding department. 

Being surrounded by quality talent will also be a plus for Barnes, as he will have a point guard who has the ability to get him the ball wherever he wants it along with big men who can give him support down low. 

Barnes also stands to improve his draft stock with a solid performance. With the draft as competitive as ever, Barnes will have to separate himself from the competition in order to be a high NBA draft pick. 

Final Prediction: Barnes will average over 20 points per game while reeling in 6.5 boards. He will also average over 1.0 steals and 2.0 assists per game.