CHAMPAIGN, ILL – The North Carolina Tar Heels will be facing their first true road game of the young season.
For Harrison Barnes, it is a homecoming of sorts. Barnes admitted after the College of Charleston game that he had been deluged with ticket requests from friends and family.
Barnes’ hometown of Ames, Iowa, is roughly three hours driving away from the University of Illinois campus.
The freshman first-team All-American may be the key to the Tar Heels game in Illinois. If Barnes can break out of his recent slump – he hasn’t shot better than 50 percent from the field since the second game of the season – it could alleviate a lot of the pressure on the UNC guards to run the offense in the halfcourt.
The Tar Heels have won their last four consecutive ACC/Big Ten Challenges, with their loss at the hands of the Fighting Illini, who came into Chapel Hill and defeated Tyler Hansbrough & Co. 68-64 in his freshman season.