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Official collapses at NCAA men’s tournament game between Gonzaga and USC


Game official Bert Smith collapsed Tuesday evening in the first half of the men’s NCAA basketball game between No. 6 seed University of Southern California and No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga in Indianapolis.

Smith was taken off on a gurney. He was sitting upright and appeared to be talking to a man walking beside him.

Smith was feeling lightheaded while on the court, according to the TBS broadcast.

“Bert is alert and stable and will not be transported to a hospital. He has been in contact with his family,” an NCAA spokesperson said in a statement.

Video shows Smith standing in a corner of the court by the Gonzaga bench when he goes down backward without being able to use his arms to break his fall. A person on the Gonzaga bench immediately runs to his side and another official halts the game.

Standby official Tony Henderson replaced Smith and the game resumed.

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few, told reporters: “He’s a great official, a great person. 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. I tried to say a quick prayer for him and just wished him the best.”

Gonzaga defeated USC 85-66 to advance to the Final Four.

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