Saturday Snacks: Duke and Notre Dame earn big ACC wins; Iowa knocks off Ohio State

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GAME OF THE DAY: Kansas State 63, No. 22 Baylor 61

Baylor led by as much as 14 points and by 12 with 12 minutes left, Kansas State used a 26-12 run to close the game and pick up a critical home win. Nino Williams scored 12 of his 18 points during that run, helping the Wildcats hold off Baylor despite making a couple of head-scratching decisions in the final 10 seconds. First, Thomas Gipson tried to take a charge on Kenny Chery with KSU up by four points. He was called for a block and Chery was given an and-one. Then, on the ensuing inbounds, Wesley Iwundu floated a pass to Marcus Foster and it was very nearly stolen by Rico Gathers. Gipson missed a free throw with 4.7 seconds left, opening the door for the Bears, but Chery missed a layup at the buzzer.

This win was incredibly important for Kansas State. Thanks to an ugly start to their season, which included losses to Texas Southern and Long Beach State, the Wildcats have dug themselves a massive hole if they want to make the NCAA tournament. They’ll have a chance because of just how many quality wins are available in league play, but they cannot afford to lose a game at home. Kansas State is now 4-1 in Big 12 play, putting them in first place.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 10 Arizona 69, No. 8 Utah 51

The Wildcats staked their claim as the best team in the Pac-12 without a blowout, statement win over the Utes. Our Raphielle Johnson was at the game and will be providing coverage here.

2. No. 4 Duke 63, No. 4 Louisville 52

The Blue Devils came out and played much better after its two-game losing streak in a convincing win on the road against Louisville. Amile Jefferson came up big with 19 points and seven rebounds while Jahlil Okafor added 18 points and seven rebounds. The Cardinals were also awful from deep, as they went 4-for-25 in the game from 3-point range.

3. No. 11 Iowa State 86, No. 9 Kansas 81

The Cyclones landed a huge win over the Jayhawks, finally ending the curse Kansas held over them.

4. No. 20 Texas 77, No. 16 West Virginia 50

Texas completely overwhelmed a West Virginia team known for using their press to do just that. The Longhorns were simply too big up front, getting 51 points and 24 boards combined from Cameron Ridley, Jonathan Holmes and Myles Turner.

5. No. 12 Notre Dame 75, Miami 70

It looked like the Hurricanes might go in and steal one in South Bend after a win at Duke this week. But then Notre Dame big man Zach Auguste was ruled eligible before the game and the Irish caught fire in the second half. Jerian Grant had 23 points and eight assists to lead a balanced Notre Dame effort.

6.  Iowa 76, Ohio State 67

Solid home effort from the Hawkeyes in this one as Aaron White had 22 points and seven rebounds and Adam Woodbury had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Iowa moves to 4-1 on the season in the Big Ten and this was a convincing home win. The Buckeyes had no help for D’Angelo Russell as he went for 27 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.

STARRED

1. Maryland’s Melo Trimble

Trimble scored 21 of his 24 points in the first half to help the Terps open up an insurmountable lead as they completed a sweep of Michigan State in their first season in the Big Ten.

Oh, and he did this:

2. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield

Hield went 10-for-10 from the floor and hit four threes, finishing with 27 points, as the No. 18 Sooners pounded No. 24 Oklahoma State.

3. Kentucky’s offense

The Wildcats are back in dominating form, as they went into Alabama and blew out the Crimson Tide, 70-48. With all the talk about the way the Wildcats can defend this season, it’s worth noting that Kentucky just shot 50.0 percent from the floor and 8-for-17 from three in an SEC road game. If they’re going to do that, they’re not losing in league play.

4. Minnesota’s Andre Hollins

The Golden Gophers were 0-5 in the Big Ten and the guard dropped 31 points in Minnesota’s 89-80 win over Rutgers. Hollins was 7-for-10 from the 3-point line and gave the Golden Gophers a huge game when they really needed a win.

5. Georgetown’s Isaac Copeland

Onions!

Copeland finished with 10 points, but he hit the game-winning three as Georgetown beat Butler in a thriller at the Verizon Center.

STRUGGLED

1. Louisville’s Chris Jones

Jones and his up-and-down play continued as he was 2-for-10 from the field and 1-for-7 from 3-point range in a loss to Duke. Jones only finished with five points and four assists and also had five turnovers.

2. Miami’s Angel Rodriguez

The point guard had a really disappointing outing as he went 1-for-10 from the field for four points and four assists in a loss to Notre Dame. The Hurricanes held a double-digit second-half lead and couldn’t hold on for the ACC road win.

3. UNLV’s Christian Wood

Wood had just two points and only took four shots as he was swallowed up by SDSU’s massive front line in a 53-47 loss.

4. The Arkansas press

The Razorbacks fell to 2-2 in the SEC after their second straight loss, falling to Ole Miss 96-82 on Saturday night. Ole Miss shot 71.4 percent from the floor in the first half, taking a 52-40 lead into the break, and only committed 11 turnovers against the Razorback pressure.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 2 Virginia remained unbeaten with a win over Boston College as Malcolm Brogdon had 20 points. The Cavs pulled away late after struggling for the first 30 minutes of the game.
  • No. 3 Gonzaga put four players in double-figures as they coasted to a win over Loyola Marymount after jumping out to a 24-6 lead.
  • It took longer than expected, but No. 5 Villanova finally put away Penn in a Big 5 rivalry game, winning 62-47.
  • No. 13 Wichita State had to face the nation’s No. 3 field-goal percentage offense in Evansville on the road. The Shockers were up to the challenge as they held the Purple Aces to 30 percent shooting from the field.
  • VCU earned a win over Duquesne on the road as the No. 17 Rams had 16 points from JeQuan Lewis.
  • It took triple overtime, but No. 25 Wyoming survived Fresno State on the road, 70-65, in a battle for first place in the Mountain West.

NOTABLES

  • Donte Grantham had 16 points to lead Clemson, who handed Syracuse their first loss in ACC play this season. Rakeem Christmas finished with 21 points and 10 boards.
  • Colorado’s season takes another hit as the Buffaloes drop a road game at Arizona State. It was the first Pac-12 win for the Sun Devils.
  • Things may be crumbling around the SMU program, but that didn’t stop the Mustangs from blowing out East Carolina on Saturday afternoon.
  • Keifer Sykes had 28 points for Green Bay as the Phoenix knocked off Detroit in a battle of Horizon League heavyweights.
  • Tulsa maintained its perfect record (5-0) in the American as they beat South Florida, 75-58. James Woodard had 21 points and three assists.
  • Cincinnati scored 55 points in the second half as a close game turned into a rout in an 84-53 win over Temple.
  • Purdue beat Penn State in overtime as Flavor Flav watched.
  • Cameron Wright and Jamel Artis both went for 20 as Pitt handed Georgia Tech their fifth straight loss in ACC play.
  • Texas A&M’s defense clamped down and held LSU to 1-of-13 shooting to end the game as they won 67-64 on the road. It’s the Aggies first win at LSU as Danuel House had 18 points and the go-ahead step-back jumper in the game’s final minute.
  • Chasson Randle had 23 points and five assists as Stanford won a non-conference game against UConn.
  • Kris Dunn finished with 21 points, eight boards and seven assists as Providence improved to 4-2 in the Big East with a win at Creighton. The Bluejays are now 0-5 in the Big East post-Dougie McBuckets.
  • In a battle of undefeated teams in the Southland, Stephen F. Austin came away with an 82-64 win over Abilene Christian as Thomas Walkup had 30 points, six rebounds and six assists.
  • Is Northwestern is starting to figure things out? They lost Saturday at Michigan, but they missed an open layup that would have forced overtime. It’s their third straight loss that was in doubt in the final minute.
  • Richmond absolutely beat down Davidson, 89-63, taking out their frustrations from Thursday’s double-overtime loss to George Washington.
  • Remy Abell had 15 points and Myles Davis added 14 points as Xavier topped Marquette, 62-58, for a Big East home win.
  • South Carolina fell to 1-3 in the SEC after they lost at Auburn.
  • Dayton won its eighth straight game with a 61-45 win over Saint Louis. Kendall Pollard was 8-for-10 from the field for 20 overall points.
  • N.C. State pulled away from Florida State late on the road as Trevor Lacey had 17 points and Kyle Washington added 15 points in the win.
  • Maxie Esho scored 18 points to lead UMass to a win over Rhode Island.
  • Saint Mary’s moved to 7-0 in WCC play with an 82-77 win over BYU. Brad Waldow finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds, and the win sets up a showdown at No. 3 Gonzaga next Thursday.

No. 8 Kansas avenges earlier loss to No. 7 Kansas State, 90-78

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jalen Wilson had 20 points, Kevin McCullar Jr. added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 8 Kansas avenged a loss to Kansas State just a couple of weeks ago with a 90-78 victory over the seventh-ranked Wildcats.

Dajuan Harris Jr. scored 18 for the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3 Big 12), who built a 12-point halftime lead before coasting to their 17th straight home win over the Wildcats in the 10th matchup of top-10 teams in series history.

Kansas has rebounded nicely from a rare three-game skid that included the overtime loss to Kansas State, and made sure to avoid taking back-to-back losses in its storied home for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

Markquis Nowell scored 23 points and Keyontae Johnson had 22 to lead the Wildcats (18-4, 6-3), who were trying for their first regular-season sweep of their biggest rival in four decades. Nae’Qwan Tomlin added 11 points and David N’Guessan had 10.

In their first meeting on Jan. 17, the Wildcats raced to a big early lead and controlled the game until late in the second half, when the Jayhawks forced overtime — only for Kansas State to win on Johnson’s alley-oop dunk.

It was the Jayhawks who controlled the rematch.

They used a 16-7 run in the first half that included a technical foul on Kansas State coach Jerome Tang to build a 32-19 lead. And when Johnson answered with eight straight points for the Wildcats, and the lead was eventually trimmed to four, the reigning national champs pulled away again down the stretch.

It was 37-32 when Wilson hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Zach Clemence added one of his own. And by the time Wilson made two foul shots with about 10 seconds left, Kansas had built a 49-37 lead that it took to the break.

The Wildcats briefly got within six in the second half before the Jayhawks stretched their lead to as many as 16.

OFFICIATING OOPS

Johnson had to sit with two fouls just 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Only problem? The crew of John Higgins, Kip Kissinger and Marques Pettigrew gave one to the wrong player. By the time they corrected their mistake, the Wildcats’ leading scorer had unnecessarily ridden the bench for several minutes.

SELLOUT … AND THEN SOME

For the first time in more than 15 years, more Kansas students redeemed tickets than there was space available inside Allen Fieldhouse. The overflow had to watch the game on screens in the adjacent Horejsi Family Athletics Center, where the Jayhawks play volleyball games. Those students also got refunds and concessions vouchers.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State’s three losses in league play have been to ranked teams on the road: TCU, Iowa State and Kansas. And with a more forgiving second half to the Big 12 schedule, the Wildcats remain firmly in the conference title hunt.

Kansas got its mojo back with its win over Kentucky last weekend. This victory over another bunch of Wildcats was crucial because the road doesn’t get any easier for the Jayhawks, who are in the midst of three straight games against teams ranked 13th or better.

UP NEXT

Kansas State returns home for another top-10 showdown Saturday against No. 10 Texas.

Kansas hits the road for the third time in four games against No. 13 Iowa State on Saturday.

BC beats No. 20 Clemson 62-54; Tigers fall into ACC tie

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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BOSTON — Makai Ashton-Langford had two key driving baskets in the closing two minutes and finished with 15 points to help Boston College beat No. 20 Clemson 62-54 on Tuesday night.

Jaeden Zackery added 13 points for the Eagles (11-12, 5-7 Atlantic Coast Conference). BC held Clemson to one field goal — and that came with 18 seconds left — in the final 13:16.

Hunter Tyson led Clemson (18-5, 10-2) with 22 points and Chase Hunter had 12. The Tigers fell into a first-place tie atop the ACC with No. 6 Virginia.

The Eagles used a 5-0 spurt — with T.J. Bickerstaff hitting a free throw and getting a driving layup — to pull ahead 50-45 with just over five minutes to play.

Clemson sliced it to 50-47 before Aston-Langford made his two big baskets. He followed that by making two free throws with 32 seconds left.

Trailing by 10 midway into the second half, the Tigers went on a 10-0 spree, tying it at 45 when RJ Godfrey hit both ends of a 1-and-1.

The Eagles had opened a double-digit lead twice in the opening six minutes of the second half, the later 45-35 on Prince Aligbe’s foul-line jumper with 14:12 to play.

BIG PICTURE

Clemson: Off to a solid start in conference play, the Tigers were tested on the road for the second straight game after edging Florida State by a point on Saturday. It hasn’t been easy for them away from home with a 4-3 record and with three away matchups against North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia to go, they’ll need to get it straightened out of they’re going to won the ACC regular-season title.

Boston College: The Eagles proved when they play defense that they’re a tough out in coach Earl Grant’s second season. A little more offense could make them very dangerous for top ACC teams to play.

ARRIVING LATE

In the first half, Clemson’s man-to-man defense smothered the Eagles’ offense for the opening 10 minutes, holding them in single digits in scoring until just about the same time the student section finished filling up late, bringing some energy to a very quiet building.

BC’s players then responded, closing the half with a 22-4 spree that turned an 11-point deficit to a 30-23 halftime edge.

SIDELINED

Both teams were missing key players. Guard Brevin Galloway, Clemson’s fourth leading scorer at 10.6 points per game, was sidelined with an abdominal injury. For BC, guard DeMarr Langford Jr., who logs big minutes at the point, was out with a knee injury.

UP NEXT

Clemson: Hosts No. 23 Miami on Saturday.

Boston College: Hosts Syracuse on Saturday.

South Carolina tops women’s AP Top 25; Ohio State tumbles

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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It was a rough week for Ohio State, which lost all three of its games and tumbled down the AP Top 25 as a result.

The previously unbeaten Buckeyes fell from second to 10th in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll released Monday after losing to Iowa and Indiana, two top 10 teams, as well as Purdue. Ohio State fell two games back in the Big Ten Conference standings.

South Carolina remained No. 1 for the 32nd consecutive week. The Gamecocks, who were again a unanimous choice from the 28-member national media panel, have the fourth-longest streak ever atop the poll. Only UConn (51 and 34 weeks) and Louisiana Tech (36) have had longer runs at No. 1.

Stanford moved back up to No. 2 in the poll and the Cardinal were followed by LSU, Indiana and UConn in the top five. LSU is the only other undefeated team in women’s basketball besides South Carolina, which visits UConn for a top-five showdown on Sunday.

Iowa jumped out four spots to sixth with Utah, Maryland and Notre Dame coming in ahead of Ohio State. The Hawkeyes started the season No. 4 in the poll.

The Fighting Irish split a pair of games last week against ranked opponents, routing Florida State before falling to N.C. State.

“There’s a lot of parity right now, which is great, great for the game,” Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey said. “The game is growing, which is what you want. But yeah, I mean, every night, especially the ACC, the ACC is the strongest league and, you know, we have just a tough stretch every night.”

One week after falling out of the rankings, Texas re-entered the poll at No. 24. The Longhorns routed then-No. 14 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State last week. South Florida also came in at No. 25. Colorado and Illinois fell out of the poll.

RISING BULLS

No. 25 South Florida continued its streak of being ranked for at least one week every season since the Bulls entered the poll for the first time in 2015.

“For us not being in a so-called football five conference, that’s a huge accomplishment,” South Florida coach Jose Fernandez said. His team has won 10 consecutive games and has 20 victories this season. The team’s four losses have all come against ranked opponents (Michigan, Villanova, Ohio State and N.C. State).

“This group has been fun to coach. We always play a great non(equals)conference schedule,” Fernandez said. “We won on the road at Texas, beat Alabama, beat Arkansas. We challenged ourselves in November and December.”

RECORD PERFORMANCES

Cameron Brink carried Stanford to a win over Oregon with a triple-double that included 10 blocks. It was the first triple-double in NCAA Division I women’s basketball featuring double-digit blocks since Tamari Key did it for Tennessee in an overtime win against Texas on Nov. 21, 2021.

No. 20 Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson set the all-time NCAA women’s career record for 3-pointers when she hit her 498th in a loss to Iowa State on Saturday. Robertson has 503 entering this week. The all-time NCAA record, men or women, is held by Antoine Davis of Detroit Mercy, who has 534 and counting.

Purdue a unanimous No. 1 in AP Top 25; Tennessee up to No. 2

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Purdue became this season’s first unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll Monday after wins over Michigan and Michigan State last week as chaos ensued behind the Boilermakers among other ranked teams.

More than half of Top 25 teams lost, including second-ranked Alabama, which was routed by Oklahoma in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. That allowed Purdue to grab the remaining No. 1 votes and tighten its grip atop the poll, while Tennessee jumped two spots to second and Houston held onto third in voting by 62 national media members.

The Boilermakers (21-1) have won eight straight since a one-point loss to Rutgers on Jan. 2.

“We’re the No. 1 team in the country because of how unselfish we are as a team,” Purdue guard David Jenkins Jr. said. “We had a lot of people doubting us in the beginning because, you know, we may not be the most talented team or whatever, but we’re close on the court and off the court and it’s really translating to how we’re winning.”

The Volunteers climbed to their highest perch since reaching No. 1 for four weeks during the 2018-19 season. They routed Georgia before becoming one of three SEC teams to beat Big 12 opponents on Saturday, knocking off No. 10 Texas 82-71 for their fifth consecutive win over a top-10 team.

Perhaps this is the year Rick Barnes finally gets the Vols through the Sweet 16 for the first time as their coach.

“We have a chance to be as good as we want to be,” he said. “It’s up to one thing: Are we tough enough to embrace the daily grind? And not worry about going to the Final Four or worry about going to the NCAA Tournament, but can we build a team that can be successful that time of year? It starts with truly embracing the grind.”

The Crimson Tide dropped to fourth after the blowout loss to the Sooners, when Alabama fell behind by 17 at halftime in an eventual 93-69 defeat. The Tide edged fifth-ranked Arizona by just two points in this week’s poll.

“It doesn’t have any effect on SEC standings, which is the only good thing to come out of this,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said of the lopsided loss. “Hopefully we’ll recover from a loss out of conference, but you know, it’s not good.”

Virginia was sixth and Kansas State, which rebounded from a narrow loss at No. 13 Iowa State by pummeling Florida on Saturday, fell two spots to seventh; the Wildcats face eighth-ranked Kansas in a top-10 showdown Tuesday night.

UCLA dropped to ninth after losing to Southern California and Texas rounded out the top 10.

Baylor continued its climb from unranked to No. 11 following wins over the Jayhawks and Arkansas. The Bears were followed by Gonzaga, Iowa State, Marquette and league rival TCU – the sixth Big 12 team in the top 15.

Xavier, Providence, Saint Mary’s, Florida Atlantic and Clemson completed the top 20, while poll returners Indiana and San Diego State joined Miami, UConn and Auburn in rounding out the Top 25.

RISING AND FALLING

The No. 11 Bears and No. 17 Providence made the biggest leaps, each climbing six spots from last week.

“I think our defense is better. Our turnovers are better. When you don’t give people easy transition baskets, now its five-on-five in the half court,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, whose team had a date with the Longhorns on Monday night.

“We execute at a pretty high rate,” Drew said. “It really comes down to taking care of the ball, making sure we get shots up and when you don’t make them, you’ve got to get rebounds. And our guys are buying into that.”

Auburn took the biggest hit of those still in the poll, dropping 10 places after losses to unranked Texas A&M and West Virginia.

IN AND OUT

The Hoosiers returned to the poll at No. 21 and the Aztecs rejoined it right behind them. They took the place of Charleston, which fell out from No. 18 after losing to Hofstra, and New Mexico, which lost to Nevada in double overtime last week.

CONFERENCE CALL

The Big 12’s dominance of the SEC in the final year of their head-to-head challenge was rewarded in the poll, where the league led the way with six ranked teams and all of them in the top 15. The Big East has four teams in the poll but none higher than No. 14 Marquette, while the SEC and ACC have three teams apiece.

College basketball broadcaster Billy Packer dies at 82

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Billy Packer, an Emmy award-winning college basketball broadcaster who covered 34 Final Fours for NBC and CBS, died Thursday. He was 82.

Packer’s son, Mark, told The Associated Press that his father had been hospitalized in Charlotte for the past three weeks and had several medical issues, and ultimately succumbed to kidney failure.

Packer’s broadcasting career coincided with the growth of college basketball. He worked as analyst or color commentator on every Final Four from 1975 to 2008. He received a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio and Sports Analyst in 1993.

“He really enjoyed doing the Final Fours,” Mark Packer said. “He timed it right. Everything in life is about timing. The ability to get involved in something that, frankly, he was going to watch anyway, was a joy to him. And then college basketball just sort of took off with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and that became, I think, the catalyst for college basketball fans to just go crazy with March Madness.”

Packer played three seasons at Wake Forest, and helped lead the Demon Deacons to the Final Four in 1962, but it was his work as an analyst that brought him the most acclaim.

He joined NBC in 1974 and called his first Final Four in 1975. UCLA beat Kentucky in the title game that year in what was John Wooden’s final game as coach.

Packer was also part of the broadcast in 1979 with Dick Enberg and Al McGuire when Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team beat Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad in the title game. That remains highest-rated game in basketball history with a 24.1 Nielsen rating, which is an estimated 35.1 million viewers.

Packer went to CBS in the fall of 1981, when the network acquired the rights to the NCAA Tournament. He remained the network’s main analyst until the 2008 Final Four.

In 1996 at CBS, Packer was involved in controversy when he used the term “tough monkey? to describe then-Georgetown star Allen Iverson during a game. Packer later said he “was not apologizing for what I said, because what I said has no implications in my mind whatsoever to do with Allen Iverson’s race.?

Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said 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.”

“He had a tremendous impact on the growth and popularity of the sport.” McManus said. “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.”

Packer was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale took to Twitter as word of Packer’s death spread. “So sad to learn of the passing of Billy Packer who had such a passion for college basketball,” Vitale tweeted. “My (prayers) go out to Billy’s son Mark & the entire Packer family. Always had great RESPECT for Billy & his partners Dick Enberg & Al McGuire-they were super. May Billy RIP.”

College basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla tweeted: “We fell in love (with) college basketball because of you. Your voice will remain in my head forever.”

Packer was viewed as a controversial figure during his broadcasting days, often drawing the ire of college basketball fans, particularly on North Carolina’s “Tobacco Road.”

“As a kid, I was a big NC State fan growing up, and I would watch a game and the next day I’d be like, `Boy you sure have it out for NC State, don’t you?’ And he would just laugh,” Mark Packer said.

The younger Packer, who is the host of ACC PM on the ACC Network, said it didn’t matter what school – most fans felt the same way about his father.

“He would cover North Carolina game and Tar Heels fans would be like, `you hate North Carolina,”‘ Mark Packer said. “Wake (Forest) fans would be like, `you hate us.’ And Billy just sort of got a kick out of that.”

Mark Packer said that while most fans will remember his father as a broadcaster, he’ll remember him even more for his business acumen. He said his father was a big real estate investor, and also owned a vape company, among other ventures.

“Billy was always a bit of a hustler – he was always looking for that next business deal,” Packer said.