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Packer, Knight to analyze NCAA game from Vegas

Monday, January 12, 2009


Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Bob Knight, the winningest coach in Division I history, and former CBS sportscaster Billy Packer plan to analyze the NCAA men's basketball tournament in a series of one-hour television programs taped at a race and sports book on the Las Vegas Strip.

Packer told reporters on Monday that the show wouldn't mention gambling even though it is to be filmed at the race and sports book at the Wynn Las Vegas.

"Why Vegas is because Bob and I, and a lot of people, want to really experience what this is really like because we do think, next to being center court, this is the place to be," Packer said.

He said he has thought for years about coming to Las Vegas during the NCAA tournament.

Packer, 68, left CBS after last season following 27 years as the network's lead college basketball analyst. Including previous years with NBC, Packer had done every Final Four since 1975, an unparalleled run for a national sports championship.

"I remember a few years ago I said to myself, 'Hey Billy, you know this has to stop sometime. And what are going to be the keys for you to not broadcast anymore if I have 100 percent control?"' Packer said. "There's only so much time you have in life to do things you want to do, and so this Vegas idea and putting this stuff together ... that's stuff I'd like to do."

The programs are expected to begin March 15 and air on Fox Sports Net. Packer said they would be taped after the teams are seeded in the tournament, after early round games and to analyze the Final Four before and after the games.

Knight said he considered his role on the show as that of a recurring guest to give insights from his years as a coach. He said it would not affect his relationship with ESPN where he is a college basketball analyst. He said he would contribute to ESPN during the NCAA tournament if asked.

Knight, who won 902 games, resigned from Texas Tech last February. He coached at Army and Indiana, where he won three national championships in 29 years.

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