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Ref alert in the wake of collapsing on the sideline during Gonzaga-USC Elite Eight matchup

A ref collapsed early in the first half of Tuesday night’s Elite Eight matchup between Gonzaga and USC.

Official Bert Smith was ready as he was set 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 unsteady and was being tended to in the locker room.

Smith was not moved to a hospital, as per the NCAA.

“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 remaining on the baseline before the Gonzaga bench as the Trojans were moving onto offense when he collapsed and hit his head on the floor.

Medical professionals encompassed Smith on the court as players, coaches and staff members advanced toward their respective benches. Bulldogs players were told to turn away while Smith was on the ground.

Smith remained on the floor for around five minutes prior to standing up and moving to a close by stretcher. The game continued with standby referee Tony Henderson supplanting Smith.

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