Barnes Is Noble: Harrison Leads 'Heels to ACC Championship with Career Day

J FCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2011

CHAPEL HILL, NC - MARCH 05:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates winning the ACC Regular Season Championship as they defeated the Duke Blue Devils 81-67 at the Dean E. Smith Center on March 5, 2011 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The UNC fans at the Greensboro Coliseum weren't too concerned when the Tar Heels went down 14 in the semi-finals against Clemson on Saturday afternoon.

The team was just coming off a last second victory against Miami in which they had fallen behind by 19 in the second half. Everyone expected the 'Heels to wake up sooner or later.

Freshman superstar, Harrison Barnes, was active from the tip-off, and had to carry his team until they decided to help him out late in the game.

This young man isn't afraid to pull up and pop a highly contested jumper to provide a spark for his struggling offense. He wants the ball in his hands, and loves to take it hard to the hole, and finish with contact.

Barnes was 6-8 from behind the arc, nailing three after three to keep UNC close. His overtime-opening trey began a crucial run for the Tar Heels as they eventually built a league that the Clemson couldn't recover from.

Barnes was 10-11 from the charity stripe, and sealed the deal for the 'Heels as the Tigers fought until the final buzzer.

Barnes dropped 40 on Clemson, the most points ever for a freshman in an ACC tournament game. He put on a show for a crowd covered with Carolina blue, and sent the Tigers running with their tails between their legs nearly single-handedly.

Henson and Zeller came up big in the second half as well. Henson recorded a double double, and Zeller added 6 boards and 14 points, including the tying bucket to send the game to an extra quarter.

Harrison Barnes is the most exciting player at Chapel Hill this season, and fans can only hope he'll stay. If he keeps lighting it up and makes some noise in the big dance, the NBA will be desiring his blooming talent in no time.