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The starting five

Luckily for many NASCAR drivers, the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament fall on Easter weekend, one of the few traditional bye weeks in the Sprint Cup schedule. As either natives or new residents of the Carolinas, one of the nation's true hotbeds of college basketball, many drivers tend to develop strong allegiances. Many come from places where the state university filled the void in the absence of a professional team. Some of them just can't stand not to have a rooting interest in everything. ¶ In honor of "The Dance,'' five NASCAR drivers who could form a pretty decent starting lineup:

Jeff Burton

5-7, Guard

The cerebral veteran would be a coach on the floor, using all those lessons learned as a Duke season ticket-holder.

Dave Blaney

5-8, Guard

His brother, Dale, was a standout for West Virginia and drafted by the Lakers. Dave must have picked up some kind of game in all those driveway battles.

Carl Edwards

6-1, Forward

Doesn't have a particularly grand basketball pedigree (He attended Missouri briefly, and what could he have learned watching the Tigers?) but this team needs an athlete to bring the ball up and rebound when the old guys starting getting winded. The ladies hope they'll play skins.

Elliott Sadler

6-2, Forward

Offered a basketball scholarship by James Madison, but injured his knee. A major Tar Heels fan, so he won't get the ball from Burton very much.

Michael Waltrip

6-5, Center

He's from Kentucky, one of the taller members of the driver corps and used to jog a lot before the whole ownership thing starting eat up a lot of his time. Box out Mikey!

The starting five 03/21/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:45am]
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