This week, Gonzaga and Southern California faced off during the Elite Eight matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium. However, minutes into the game, the NCAA tournament ended up experiencing a scary moment. Official Bert Smith collapsed on the floor during the game, immediately being carried away in a stretcher.
After setting up on the baseline, Smith ended up collapsing, hitting his head on the floor. The referee was down for around five minutes. He ended up standing up after that, making way to a stretcher nearby. He stayed alert while he was carried off the court, sitting up with his arms crossed. He was later treated by trainers in the locker room.
NCAA spokesman David Worlock spoke about the same, letting everyone know that Smith was not "alert and stable". He added that the official would not be taken to a hospital, and has already been in contact with his family about his condition. However, a proper diagnosis or reason for the incident was not given. As per CBS Sports rules analyst Gene Steratore on the TBS broadcast, Smith collapsed after he started feeling lightheaded.
Worlock’s statement didn’t specifically state the nature of Smith’s “medical issue,” though CBS Sports rules analyst Gene Steratore said on the TBS broadcast that Smith was feeling “lightheaded,” leading to the fall. He said Smith was being treated by trainers in the locker room.
He was replaced by Tony Henderson during the game, who was previously with the scorer's table. This had been Smith's second Elite Eight game. Worlock also the one who informed that standby official for the UCLA-Michigan game, Tony Chiazza, would work for the rest of the game.
kind of a weird way to put it but alright— USMNT 2026 WC Champs (@cailloubradley) March 30, 2021
Hope he’s okay wtf— Êá´É´á´ê±á´ Êá´á´á´É´ð«ð§¬ (@Frauddulent) March 30, 2021
Thank god he’s OK— Luke Garrison (SonicHockeyCoolFanAccount) (@SHCBackupAcc) March 30, 2021
Okay you prayed, he's good now, will be back in the second half.— Nick Perkins (@fortyfreak9) March 30, 2021
Is he ok? Has a Doc confirmed it? Hope so, but want him verified safe before I can stop worrying.— greghutchings (@greghutchings) March 30, 2021
Gonzaga beat USC in an 85-66 encounter to make it to the final four.