Defending national champion Baylor, with All-America center Brittney Griner returning from a 40-0 season, is the overwhelming pick to win the Big 12 again.
Obama, who helps coach his daughter Sasha’s youth basketball team, honored the Lady Bears’ 40-0 team at the White House.
The national champion Lady Bears, who were undefeated with the NCAA’s first 40-win season, are scheduled to meet with President Obama next Wednesday.
Baylor basketball star Brittney Griner won two trophies at the annual ESPY awards show, including female athlete of the year .
The NCAA has put Baylor on three years of probation after a three-year investigation into hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and text messages sent by basketball coaches to prep recruits.
The report lists a number of proposed penalties, including barring women’s coach Kim Mulkey from recruiting off campus in July and fewer scholarships for both programs.
With the 6-foot-8 superstar and the other four starters all coming back next year, the Lady Bears will be the heavy favorite to win another title, if not go unbeaten for a second straight year.
“I wanted (the title) because this is what our team wanted, and this is what we promised coach when we got here,” said Griner.
Baylor (39-0) can become the first NCAA team to win 40 games in a season with a victory over Notre Dame in the national championship game Tuesday night.
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey has been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a form of facial paralysis she says won’t change her approach going into the NCAA Final Four.
For the first time since 1989, all four top seeds reached the NCAA women’s Final Four.
Brittney Griner of Baylor, Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Stanford and Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame are among the finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.