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The idea of an all-time NCAA dream-team playoff began as typical pre- and post-game talk. But Chev-rolet and agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, CBS sports announcer Billy Packer and Sports Illustrated magazine kept the ball rolling.

What if Packer could seed the past 60 NCAA champs, plus four wild cards, and the winners faced off in a fantasy contest mirroring the NCAA basketball playoffs? What if Chevrolet and Sports Illustrated kicked in prizes for fans, including two 1999 Chevy Silverados and a dream trip?

Contest finalists who match Packer's picks would compete to win a Silverado and a trip for two to next year's Final Four games. The winning NCAA school also would receive a scholarship donation and a Silverado decked out in its school colors.

Fantasy became reality on March 3 when Chevy and Packer announced "The Truck, the Tournament" contest, which was to culminate with Packer's announcement of the winner on March 28.

The cost to Chevy: $3 million.

"It's one of the biggest and most integrated promotions we've done - integrated in partnerships, media, public relations activities and aggressive relationships with universities," says Silverado Brand Manager Rick Scheidt. For its $3 million, Chevy gets Sports Illustrated insertions, TV and radio spots, Internet exposure, and, according to Scheidt: "dream exposure before millions of NCAA

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