A referee collapsed early in the first half of Tuesday night’s Elite Eight matchup between Gonzaga and USC.
Official Bert Smith was alert as he was placed on a stretcher and moved off the court at Lucas Oil Stadium. The NCAA said he left the game with a medical issue. On the TBS broadcast, rules analyst Gene Steratore said Smith was feeling lightheaded and was being tended to in the locker room.
Smith was not transported to a hospital, according to the NCAA.
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“He’s a great official, great person,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said after his team’s 85-66 win to advance to the Final Four. “I mean, I was just shocked and scared for him, but I was able to stick my head in there a little bit and see that he was talking and coherent and tried to say a quick prayer for him and just wished him the best.”
Smith was standing on the baseline in front of the Gonzaga bench as the Trojans were moving onto offense when he collapsed and hit his head on the floor.
Medical professionals surrounded Smith on the court as players, coaches and staffers moved toward their respective benches. Bulldogs players were instructed to look away while Smith was on the ground.
Smith stayed on the floor for about five minutes before standing up and moving to a nearby stretcher. The game resumed with standby referee Tony Henderson replacing Smith.
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