Tyler Zeller added 12 points for the Tar Heels (6-1), who had to show plenty of fight and toughness to outlast the Badgers in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Coming off its first loss of the season, North Carolina trailed by five points midway through the second half before going on an 18-5 run that finally put the Tar Heels ahead for good.
Barnes was critical in that run, knocking down two 3-pointers and a jumper. But on a night when their fast-paced attack rarely got out in transition, the Tar Heels only fought off Wisconsin (6-1) after stringing together enough defensive stops and getting enough defensive rebounds to aid their struggling offense.
NO. 15 KANSAS 77, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 54
In Lawrence, Kan., Thomas Robinson had 19 points and 17 rebounds for his sixth consecutive double-double, and Kansas overcame some sloppiness on offense to rout Florida Atlantic.
Playing their first home game in nearly three weeks, the Jayhawks (4-2) committed 17 turnovers that turned into several easy baskets for the Owls (4-4). But the play underneath by Robinson, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, was enough to carry them to victory.
Tyshawn Taylor added 18 points, Travis Releford had 11 and Jeff Withey 10 for Kansas, which hadn’t played at Allen Fieldhouse since a season-opening win over Towson on Nov. 11.
Since then, the Jayhawks lost to top-ranked Kentucky, beat Georgetown and UCLA in the Maui Invitational, and then lost to No. 3 Duke in the championship game.
NO. 17 PITTSBURGH 80, DUQUESNE 69
In Pittsburgh, Ashton Gibbs scored 18 points and Pittsburgh downed crosstown rival Duquesne.
Dante Taylor added 15 points and Lamar Patterson scored 10 for the Panthers (6-1), who dominated the glass to overcome serious turnover problems and beat the Dukes for the 11th consecutive time.
Sean Johnson led Duquesne (4-3) with 19 points but the Dukes struggled against the bigger, stronger, deeper Panthers.
Pitt outrebounded the Dukes 39-15 to offset 23 turnovers. The Panthers never trailed over the game’s final 30 minutes but struggled putting Duquesne away.
Taylor had missed the previous two games with migraine headaches.
WAKE FOREST 55, NEBRASKA 53
In Lincoln, Neb., C.J. Harris drove in for a layup with 3.4 seconds left to give Wake Forest a victory over Nebraska in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.