Longtime college basketball analyst Billy Packer dies at 82

Billy Packer (R) worked as a college basketball analyst for more than 30 years. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Billy Packer (R) worked as a college basketball analyst for more than 30 years. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Billy Packer, who served as a premier college basketball analyst for more than three decades, has died, his family announced on Twitter. He was 82.

Packer's sons, Mark and Brandt, tweeted the news Thursday night. They did not disclose his cause of death in those posts.


"The Packer family would like to share some sad news," Mark Packer tweeted. "Our amazing father, Billy, has passed. We take peace knowing that he's in heaven with Barb. RIP, Billy."

Packer was the lead analyst for 34 consecutive Final Fours, split between NBC and CBS. He also served as an analyst for ACC games on Raycom.

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"Billy Packer was synonymous with college basketball for more than three decades and set the standard of excellence as the voice of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. "He had a tremendous impact on the growth and popularity of the sport.

"In true Billy fashion, he analyzed the game with his own unique style, perspective and opinions, yet always kept the focus on the game. As passionate as he was about basketball, at his heart Billy was a family man. He leaves part of his legacy at CBS Sports, across college basketball, and, most importantly, as a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by all."

"So sad to learn of the passing of Billy Packer who had such a passion for college basketball," fellow longtime college basketball analyst Dick Vitale tweeted Thursday.

"My prayers go out to Billy's son and the entire Packer family. Always had great respect for Billy and his partners Dick Enberg and Al McGuire. They were super. May Billy RIP."

In 1993, Packer received a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio and Sports Analyst. Packer was a star basketball player at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pa., before he attended Wake Forest from 1958 through 1962.

He went on to serve as an assistant coach at Wake Forest before he entered the broadcast booth in 1972.


Packer joined NBC in 1974. He left for CBS in 1981. Packer covered every NCAA Men's Divisional I Basketball Tournament from 1975 through 2008. Packer returned as a studio analyst in 2009, where he worked alongside Bob Knight on Survive and Advance, a tournament preview show on Fox Sports Net.

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New York Knicks legend Willis Reed (C) reacts when he is introduced with the rest of the Knicks 1973 championship team in New York City in 2013. Reed, who was nicknamed "The Captain" and was in the Basketball Hall-of-Fame, died at the age of 80 on March 21. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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