NEW YORK -- Marissa Janning and Creighton are in an unfamiliar position: favorites to win the Big East Conference.The Bluejays return all five starters from last season, as well as Janning, who broke her left leg in November. Even without their star guard, they made it to the conference title game as a seven seed.It shows the respect for what we did last year, Janning said of her team being the top choice. We persevered last year and have a bunch of fighters. Its really exciting and could be a special year for us.Janning was happy to be back on the court herself after breaking the fibula in her leg on Nov. 28.Im so excited. Ive been waiting, and Ive been ready and wish we could play a game right now, the fifth-year senior said.Creighton and DePaul were the coaches picks to win the conference. Its the first time in 14 years theres been a tie atop the leagues preseason poll, which was released Tuesday. Each school received five first-place votes.The Blue Demons already have taken a hit, losing Marte Grays for the season with an Achilles injury suffered last month. They do have guard Jessica January, who was picked as the conferences player of the year, and return two other starters from last seasons team, which made a run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.Its an awesome achievement and gives us a lot of confidence for the season, January said of the top ranking.Marquette is third in the poll. The Golden Eagles are followed by Villanova, Georgetown, St. Johns, Seton Hall, Butler, Xavier and Providence.Joining January on the preseason first team are teammate Brooke Schulte; Audrey Faber, MC McGrory and Janning of Creighton; Natisha Hiedeman and Allazia Blockton of Marquette; Dionna White of Georgetown; Raeshaun Gaffney of Xavier; Adrianna Hahn and Alex Louin of Villanova; and Dorothy Adomako of Georgetown.Villanovas Kelly Jekot is the preseason freshman of the year.Providence coach Jim Crowley is the only newcomer to the league. The longtime St. Bonaventure coach was excited for the new challenge and being in the Big East.It was the big reason I took the job, Crowley said. I grew up in upstate New York. There was nothing like Big East basketball. It was something that made me want to be a college basketball coach. To walk in here and be at The Garden is humbling. 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WASHINGTON -- No-hit bid or not, Washington manager Dusty Baker was taking out Stephen Strasburg in the seventh inning.Its tough taking a guy out of a no-hitter, but we have to think about the future and where he had come from off the DL, Baker said. You just think: Were going to need him.Strasburg left after 6 2/3 innings and 109 pitches, and Ramon Cabrera singled against Matt Belisle leading off the eighth for Cincinnatis first hit in the Washington Nationals 12-1 rout of the Reds on Sunday.Strasburg has won a franchise-record 14 straight decisions and is the first NL starter to begin a season 11-0 since San Diegos Andy Hawkins in 1985. He did not disagree with Bakers decision to remove him.I understand where hes coming from, Strasburg said. Theres more important things, hopefully, down the road for this team.Activated from the disabled list before the game after missing two starts due to an upper back strain, Strasburg (11-0) was just five pitches shy of his highest pitch count this season. He left to a standing ovation from the crowd of 37.328 at Nationals Park and was replaced by Blake Treinen, who got Billy Hamilton to ground out.I felt pretty good, Strasburg said. It was weird, warming up. My changeup was the only pitch I could really locate, and then I couldnt find the strike zone with it today, but the curveball and slider were really good.Making his first appearance since June 15, Strasburg struck out five and walked four -- including two of the Reds first three batters. He then retired eight in a row, needing only eight pitches in each of the second and third innings.He threw an outstanding game, Baker said. Its tough taking a guy out of a no-hitter, but we have to think about the future and where he had come from off the DL.dddddddddddd You just think, Were going to need him.Danny Espinosa homered twice for the Nationals, including his second grand slam in four games, and Wilson Ramos, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Drew hit solo homers.Cincinnati has lost 10 of 12. John Lamb (1-5) allowed eight runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.Ramos homered in the second and finished 3 for 4 with a walk and two RBI. Espinosa homered after Lamb walked three straight in the fourth, giving Washington a 5-0 lead.Espinosa also hit a solo drive against Keyvius Sampson in the seventh, going deep back-to-back with Rendon for his team-leading 18th homer. Espinosa finished the series 7 for 18 (.389) with five homers and 15 RBI.Its surreal, he said. Its crazy. Im just out there having fun and Im just staying with my work every day and its paying off. I couldnt dream anything like this could ever happen.Harper led off the fifth with his 17th homer. Drew hit a solo homer in the eighth, giving the Nationals a season-high six long balls in the game.TRAINERS ROOMNationals: RHP Joe Ross (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 15-day DL. He labored through 5 1/3 innings against the Reds on Saturday allowing a season-high 10 hits and four earned runs with a noticeable drop in velocity.UP NEXTNationals: RHP Max Scherzer (9-5) is to face the visiting Brewers in the opener of a three-game series. Scherzer went 4-1 with a 1.96 ERA in June. He took the loss in a 5-3 defeat in Milwaukee on June 24. ' ' '