by Jacob Swiger
Harrison Barnes, the No. 1 senior recruit in the nation and the human form of Fort Knox, signed a letter of intent to attend North Carolina at a news conference Friday.
"Coach Roy Williams?" Barnes said via Skype in his high school auditorium, breaking the extreme tension that had been building for weeks.
Barnes teased the crowd by saying a statement about each of his six finalists and seemed to give the most respectful comments about Duke. He then said he would be attending ... the coach he calls on Skype.
Williams answered the call with the entire team with a huge smile on his face.
"I'm so privileged to go play for Coach Williams," Barnes said. "Coach Williams found out when everyone else found out ... when I called him on Skype."
His decision ended months of speculation and a fascinating recruitment, including fans tracking Williams and Mike Krzyzewski's planes, more message board inside sources than the entire population of Ames, Iowa, waitergate (don't ask), and Barnes' apparel for the past six months.
Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma and UCLA were his other finalists.
Barnes kept his decision from leaking out to the public in an era of predictability in the recruiting world yet sported Jordan clothes from head to toe at school Friday.
"About Tuesday or Wednesday I made my final decision," Barnes said. "We wanted to do something big, and we thought this would be the most classy way to do it."
The 6-foot-7 wing player will join five-star recruits Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock and likely will make the Heels the preseason No. 1 team in 2010.