One Big Decision for Harrison Barnes

Updated: October 14, 2009, 9:29 AM ET
By Dick Vitale

We all know that Duke and North Carolina have a phenomenal rivalry...I think it is the best in college sports! I know, fans in Columbus and Ann Arbor, or at Auburn and Alabama may disagree.

The Duke-North Carolina rivalry won't be contested on the hardwood for several months. Right now, they are going head-to-head, battling big time. This showdown is at a neutral site, not in Chapel Hill or Durham.

Come on, are you wondering what I am talking about?

This battle is taking place in Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State. It is also the home of the top recruit in the minds of many, 6-8 Harrison Barnes. He is very athletic, and he has tantalized many.

Barnes has narrowed down his choice between a number of powerful programs: North Carolina, Duke, UCLA and Kansas. He also has the local school, the Cyclones of Iowa State, in contention too.

Recently, there was a battle of home visits. Imagine your family walking into a room and within a span of hours, two Hall of Famers are there. That's right, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams are in the living room! Wow!

They made their presentations on the same day. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall to listen to those conversations, baby!

Two Hall of Famers selling their respective programs, talking about those positives. I'm talking about champions at the big dance, two of the marquee programs in America.

Don't forget about the tradition of the Bruins and Jayhawks. Perhaps Barnes will want to stay close to home and help the Cyclones advance further.

Word is, Barnes is going to make his decision prior to basketball practice beginning in mid-November. This is the time of year colleges win a lot of games by securing the crème de la crème.

Let the battle rage on. We will find out the winner of the Barnes sweepstakes. I was fortunate enough to meet Barnes a few years ago.

I spoke to both of them and I can tell you, this is a first class youngster who has his head on right.

One school will be very lucky. Not only will they get a skilled athlete, but also a classy human being. His family has done a great job with him.

Now the big question is, which college jersey will he wear as he starts an illustrious career. Stay tuned!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to