William Joseph Raftery (born April 19, 1943) is an American basketball analyst and former college basketball coach….who has consecutively served as an analyst and play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports’ college basketball coverage for over 33 years. Raftery was also an analyst with ESPN…where he was primarily partnered with Sean McDonough and Jay Bilas….and formerly Mike Gorman for Big East games. He has also served as an analyst for CBS Radio/Westwood One’s coverage of the NCAA Men’s Final Four along with Kevin Kugler and John Thompson. Raftery has also served as an analyst for the New Jersey Nets…prior to the franchise’s move to Brooklyn….and was an on-course commentator for PGA Tour Champions Tour events. On June 27, 2013, Raftery signed with FOX to call Big East basketball games on the upstart network Fox Sports….while being paired with Gus Johnson.
During CBS’ coverage of March Madness….Raftery had been frequently partnered with Verne Lundquist. His trademark quotes are “Onions!” for whenever a shot is made late in a close game, “Send It In Big Fella!” for whenever a post player makes a slam dunk….and, “A Little Lingerie On The Deck!” for whenever a player makes a nifty move with the ball and fakes out the defender….as he is especially remembered for “Send It In, Jerome!” ….for his call immediately after Jerome Lane of the University of Pittsburgh shattered the backboard with a powerful dunk during a 1988 game.
Starting with the 2014–15 collegiate basketball season, CBS/Turner Sports partnered Raftery with Jim Nantz and Grant Hill to make up the primary announcing team for the remainder of the regular season….and all the way through the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the Final Four.
On June 8, 2015, Raftery was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s Hall of Fame. He also won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Event Analyst in 2015 and 2016…. and regardless of all that….this vintage CBS video shows Bill Rafferty teamed with Jim Nantz back in 1986….long before their teaming up in 2014 for CBS/TBS.