Like most kids my age, I spent Saturday mornings during the 1970s with Bugs Bunny, the Roadrunner and numerous other cartoon favorites.

My Saturday afternoons, at least from November through March, were reserved for Thacker and Packer.

That would be Jim Thacker and Billy Packer, the voices of the ACC’s syndicated weekly basketball broadcasts. Their commentary, along with the catchy “Sail with the Pilot” jingle of commercial sponsor Jefferson Pilot, became the soundtrack of a generation.

Not to mention the golden age of ACC basketball.

Packer, in particular, was the star of the show.

He was a star point guard at Wake Forest, who helped the Deacons to a pair of conference championships and the 1962 Final 4, and he briefly served as an assistant to his coach, Bones McKinney.

But it was his work describing the action, rather than being part of it, that made him most famous. The Hall of Fame broadcaster, who died Thursday night at the age of 82, is as much of an ACC legend as David Thompson, Len Elmore or Mitch Kupchak.

Packer was analytical and smart. As a former player and coach, he had an understanding of the game that allowed him to anticipate and explain things that happened on the court before they actually did.

He didn’t sugarcoat his commentary, as do so many of today’s analysts. When he saw an official make a mistake or a coach employ a strategy he didn’t agree with, he didn’t hold anything back in calling them out.

No subject was too controversial for him.

It was an outspoken style that didn’t sit well with a segment of fans who loved to hate him. Or, apparently, with then-ACC commissioner Bob James, who in a 1978 Associated Press story decried Packer’s comments as “uncalled for” and “inappropriate.” Packer was often accused by his critics of talking over his audience’s head with his analysis.

Packer never backed down. In fact, he seemed to revel in the curmudgeonly role he played.

“Sometimes wrong, never in doubt,” he once famously said about himself.

Packer eventually outgrew the ACC, moving up to a bigger stage to become part of another famous broadcast team.

Teaming with play-by-play man Dick Enberg and former Marquette coach Al McGuire, whose colorful catchphrases offset the seriousness of Packer’s technical commentary, he began a remarkable run that saw him work 33 consecutive Final 4’s — 1st for NBC, then CBS.

Because those Final 4’s usually involved ACC teams, he continued to provide a voice to some of the greatest moments in conference history.

Among the most memorable came on April 4, 1983.

“They won it … on the dunk!” he shouted after Lorenzo Charles helped NC State upset heavily favored Houston to win 1 of the most improbable national championships in NCAA Tournament history.

Packer’s final broadcast, in 2008, also involved an ACC team.

In the end, the straightforwardness that was his trademark ended up becoming his downfall.

It happened during the national semifinal between North Carolina and Kansas. The Tar Heels fell behind 38-12 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the 1st half and were on the verge of getting run out of the gym by the red-hot Jayhawks.

As the teams headed to their benches for the under-8 TV timeout, Packer proclaimed that “This game is ovah!” With a heavy emphasis on the word ovah.

“Is it?” his broadcast partner on CBS, Jim Nantz, asked back.

“Yes, it is,” Packer replied.

Although UNC rallied to make a contest of it in the 2nd half, the game was, in fact, over.

So, too, was Packer’s career.

The decision to replace him with Clark Kellogg for the following season may already have been in the works by that time. But it certainly didn’t help his case with network officials to have their lead analyst telling millions of viewers across the country that the rest of the game wasn’t worth sticking around to watch.

It was probably time for a change anyway, not because the game had passed Packer by. He just didn’t like the direction in which it was headed.

And that was long before the transfer portal and NIL ever came about.

The rules that govern college basketball and the style with which it’s played aren’t the only things that have evolved in the years since Packer hung up his mic and faded into retirement.

The way the games are broadcast has changed, too.

With multiple games on the air every day and night of the week, it’s no longer appointment viewing like it was when young fans like myself looked forward to sailing with the Pilot every Saturday afternoon.

When it comes to the soundtrack of those games, there are far too many voices trying to imitate the likes of McGuire and his subsequent versions Dick Vitale and Bill Raftery, and not enough Billy Packers.