President Barack Obama Picks Baylor over Notre Dame for Women's NCAA Title
Selects No. 2 seed California to Advance to Final Four with top seeds
In his fourth year filling out an NCAA Women's Basketball Championship bracket for ESPN, President Barack Obama selected Baylor to win the title, as he provided ESPN's Andy Katz with an exclusive interview from the White House on Tuesday, March 19. President Obama is predicting top-seeded Baylor to defeat No. 1 seed Notre Dame - a rematch of a 2012 national semifinal game in Denver.
The segment first debuted during the 9 a.m. ET SportsCenter today, Friday, March 22. The interview will also be available on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile platforms, and on subsequent editions of SportsCenter and various ESPN platforms, following the debut.
Katz - an ESPN.com senior writer, on-air reporter, and host of ESPNU's Katz Korner and The Experts - conceived the idea of the President filling out a bracket on-air following an interview with him in 2008. He has conducted the interview with the President on his men's tournament predictions all five years.
In 2012, President Obama's women's bracket placed him in the 79th percentile for the second straight year. If Baylor wins the NCAA women's basketball title, President Barack Obama will have picked the tournament champion for the third time in four years.
ESPN Women's Tournament Challenge returns for the 16th season on the digital hard court and will once again be free for entrants to submit up to 10 entries on ESPN.com. Fans complete and submit a bracket of forecasted tournament game outcomes and points are awarded for each correct pick, with point values increasing as the Tournaments progress. In the Women's Tournament Challenge, entries that finish in the top one percent are entered in a random drawing for a $5,000 Best Buy Gift Card. The Women's Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Saturday, March 23.
Notable Quotes from Katz's Interview with President Obama:
On Baylor's dominance the last two years
President Obama: Well, they're pretty spectacular. Obviously, you've got a Connecticut team that can make some pretty big claims when it comes to dominance of women's basketball, but Baylor these last couple of years, and obviously Ms. Griner, has just been spectacular.
On Skylar Diggins
President Obama: Love Skylar's game. She's a great guard, a lot of poise, a lot of heart - a really, really impressive player.
On Delaware vs. Kentucky in the Bridgeport Regional
President Obama: Elena Delle Donne is a great player and obviously a wonderful person. But I think Kentucky is the better team.
On Baylor and Notre Dame advancing to title game
President Obama: So we've got a couple of all-Americans leading their teams, a guard and a center. I think it will be an interesting game, anything can happen. But in the end, I just think Baylor is too tough. I think Brittney ends up winning once again, and Baylor folks will be back in the White House and I'll have a chance to greet them.
On what Griner has meant to the women's game
President Obama: Women players have gotten so much better than they were even 10 years ago -- the athleticism, the skill levels, and part of it is, you're seeing how it's impacting younger kids.
Sasha plays on her rec league team with Joe Biden's granddaughter and a couple of other folks -- the Vipers. They repeated, by the way, this year.
So what you're seeing, I think is women's athletics just taking it to a new level.