NCAA: Wynn gets Knight, Packer for tourney

Jan 13, 2009 8:39 PM
by GT Staff |

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has always been a big affair in Las Vegas, but Wynn Las Vegas just raised the ante. Legendary coach Bob Knight (on left in picture) and longtime CBS analyst Billy Packer (on the right) will be doing a series of 5 one-hour shows from the Wynn sports book following the games.

"It is an honor to host these two basketball Hall of Famers, whom I consider to be the best in their field," said Johnny Avello, executive director for race and sports at Wynn Las Vegas. "Their presence and the ‘Survive and Advance’ program will add a unique, festive atmosphere to March Madness this year."

The "Survive and Advance" shows will air on FSN (Fox Sports Network) at midnight locally immediately following the basketball games played on March 15, March 22, March 29, April 3 and April 5. The one-hour programs will feature live commentary from the hosts and their top-tier guests comprised of coaches, former players and well-known personalities. The shows will re-air throughout the week on FSN, which reaches more than 80 million homes across the United States.

Along with the television shows from Wynn, both Packer and Knight will be involved with an interactive website production that features news, analysis, blogs, videos and other original content. "This initiative will enable fans to experience the best college basketball tournament coverage across multiple media vehicles," Packer said.

Knight, hired by ESPN in 2008 as an analyst, holds the all-time record for wins as a collegiate coach with 902. He is also the only coach to win both the NCAA and NIT championships, an Olympic Gold Medal and the Pan American Games Gold. Knight coached the NCAA’s last unbeaten national champion at Indiana, which went 32-0 in the 1975-76 season. Knight also won an NCAA title as a player in 1960 at Ohio State.

Packer is an Emmy Award-winner, who has broadcast 34 straight NCAA basketball championships. He was the lead analyst at NBC from 1974-81 before joining CBS where he continued through 2008. During his playing days as a guard, Packer led Wake Forest to a pair of ACC titles and a berth in the 1962 NCAA Final Four.

The Wynn resort features among its lavish amenities: 2,716 guest rooms and suites, a 111,000 square foot casino, an 18-hole golf course and 74,000 square feet of retail space.