Tweetback: Discussion is a key SportsCenter ingredient; Women’s title game set; Vitale call first Final Four; Rutgers story unfolds

SportsCenter’s in-depth highlights, next-level stats and investigative reports and features have been pillars of the program’s enduring success. Yet during the biggest news stories, engaging discussion and analysis is often what sets ESPN’s flagship show apart.

“We always strive to have smart discussions and serve the fans with deeper perspective,” said Senior Coordinating Producer Michael Shiffman.

A great demonstration of the role that discussion can play in informing fans was the live reaction (a portion of which is embedded above) following Friday’s SportsCenter coverage of the Rutgers press conference when school President Dr. Robert Barchi responded to the controversy surrounding fired coach Mike Rice. Rece Davis anchored a spirited panel of ESPN analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams.

“Rece did a terrific job of keeping the discussion focused on the topic at hand – how President Barchi handled the news conference – and having Bilas, Greenberg, and Williams stay on point with that topic was the key to this discussion being a success,” Shiffman said.

ESPN, which broke the Rutgers story last Tuesday by showcasing the video of the coach’s practice behavior, looks to advance the conversation for these big stories in every way possible.

“It is always our goal to have analysts in place to react immediately to a news conference or a game because we know our viewers are instantaneously reacting (and tweeting),” Shiffman said. “We want to be in a position to best serve those fans with greater perspective on the issues of the day.”

Front Row knows you have better things to do all weekend than check your social media feeds, so we do it for you.

Here, from the ESPN PR universe, are some of the Tweets, posts and other commentary you may have missed.

You can thank us later!

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