NCAA Men’s basketball tourney ref collapses during Gonzaga-USC game
During the Elite Eight matchup between Gonzaga and USC on Tuesday night, official Bert Smith collapsed on the floor and had to be taken off the basketball court on a stretcher.
As USC was moving down the court on offense, Smith set up on the baseline and he lost his balance and immediately fell to the ground and hit his head on the floor.
He was lying on his back for several minutes before he eventually stood up and moved to the stretcher which was nearby.
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Smith, who was conscious, was sitting up with his arms crossed as he was taken off the court.
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The NCAA released a statement on Smith’s condition shortly after.
“Bert is alert and stable and will not be transported to a hospital,” the statement read.
Rules analyst Gene Steratore said on the TV broadcast, which was televising the game, that Smith was feeling “lightheaded” before eventually falling to the ground. Smith treated by trainers in the locker room.
Smith, who was replaced by William Henderson, was officiating his second Elite Eight. Henderson was at the scorer’s table before replacing Smith as an alternate.
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According to kenpom.com, the Gonzaga-USC game was the 70th matchup Smith worked this season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.