Earlier: Tonight’s Elite Eight game between Gonzaga and USC was stopped momentarily after veteran referee Bert Smith collapsed on the court.
The scary scene unfolded with 15:44 to play in the first half and the top-seeded Zags leading 11-4. Smith was stationed in the corner near the Gonzaga bench when he collapsed flat on his back with no one around him.
The game was immediately stopped and training staffs from both teams were quickly on the scene. Smith was seen with his eyes open and breathing after collapsing.
Referee Bert Smith collapses on the court. This is what the broadcast showed. pic.twitter.com/n4Alf8m3Nd
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) March 30, 2021
Thankfully, the longtime official was able to sit up on his own and communicate with emergency personnel before being wheeled off the court on a stretcher.
He was awake and alert while being taken away.
Official who collapsed during Gonzaga-USC now on his feet and talking to medical personnel.
— Brian Hamilton (@_Brian_Hamilton) March 30, 2021
The actual footage of Smith can be seen below. Warning: it is frightening.
Bert Smith, veteran NCAA official, just collapsed on the court. He's now on his feet. pic.twitter.com/BOhBvJT01U
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 30, 2021
We’re glad to see Smith was conscious and appeared to be okay as he was taken off the court for further examination. Alternate official William Henderson took his place.
We’ll provide an update on Smith’s condition when one becomes available.
Update: CBS rules expert and former referee Gene Steratore said on the broadcast that Smith is stable and being checked out.
Obviously, this is more good news.