Ohio vs. UNC: 3 Reasons Star Player Barnes Will Crumble Under Pressure

Luis BatlleContributor IMarch 23, 2012

Ohio vs. UNC: 3 Reasons Star Player Barnes Will Crumble Under Pressure

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    Harrison Barnes and his UNC Tar Heels are one of three No. 1 seeds with an upcoming Sweet 16 matchup. Ohio is standing in the team's way of the Elite Eight.

    Yet despite the fact that North Carolina comes into this contest holding the dramatic edge, the quality of basketball this team has produced in the tourney and injuries will have this team struggling to get it done in this next contest.

    Barnes is one of the main factors in the mix, as the team will look to him to rally the troops to a national title game.

    This added pressure will be something Barnes won't be prepared for, as the Tar Heels forward will inevitably fall in the moment. These are the three reasons why Barnes will be unable to produce when the team needs it most.

Production Has Gone Down in Tourney

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    This season, Harrison Barnes put up as solid numbers as head coach Roy Williams could ask for.

    Barnes averaged 17.4 points and 5.2 rebounds 34 games for the team during the regular season.

    Yet in the tournament, Barnes has already proven he crumbles under pressure.

    In the two tourney games, Barnes is posting 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds, yet is shooting the ball just 12-for-31—well under the 45 percent average he recorded this season.

His Offense Has Faltered to Close out the Season

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    As talented and prolific a scorer as Harrison Barnes is, many fans of the game fail to take notice of the lack of production Barnes has put forth as of late.

    In his last eight games, Barnes has eclipsed the 20-point mark just once and has scored fewer than 15 points in three of them.

    Talk about low scoring numbers from North Carolina's top offensive threat.

An Inexperienced Talent Is Thinking NBA Draft

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    It's not a reason that goes by the numbers, yet it is one that inevitably exists.

    Harrison Barnes—aside from being a sophomore and leader of this North Carolina team—is also an inexperienced talent that is likely to be a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

    Considering the looks he has been getting from NBA teams and the fact that he is a sure first-round choice in 2012, there is no question that it is weighing heavily on his mind.

    With the pressure to perform to improve his selection on draft day, it will be all the more difficult for Barnes to perform on one of the bigger stages in the tourney.