WACO, Teaxs -- Facing a Baylor team that washed out its arena in neon green, it was the No. 13 Kansas State Wildcats that showed they have a brighter March ahead of them.
But the Widlcats needed a buzzer-beater to do it.
Kansas State's Rodney McGruder hit a 3-pointer as time ran out, lifting the Wildcats to a 64-61 victory over Baylor on Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
By edging out Baylor, KSU kept pace with rival Kansas atop the Big 12 standings.
Baylor guard Pierre Jackson made a pair of free throws with 35 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 61.
Kansas State guard Shane Southwell then dribbled the clock down from 35 to 7 seconds remaining before the Wildcats called timeout. When Kansas State put the ball back in play, Southwell took the potential game-winner but missed long. Baylor grabbed the rebound and called timeout with one second left.
However, Baylor's Jacob Neubert threw the in-bounds pass out of bounds on the other end and Kansas State regained possession under its own basket, still with 1 second left.
This time, McGruder took the in-bounds pass and hit the game-winner from the top of the key, dashing Baylor's hopes of a resume-building win it desperately needed.
McGruder finished with 18 points, tying Baylor's Jackson for the game-high.
Kansas State guards Rodney McGruder and Martavious Irving led a first-half surge as the Wildcats erased Baylor's five-point lead.
McGruder finished a fast break with a dunk on an assist from Shane Southwell, then hit a jumper. Irving followed with 3-pointers on back-to-back trips down the floor. That capped a 9-0 run that gave Kansas State a 27-23 advantage with 5:58 left in the first half.
But Baylor answered with a 6-2 run to finish the half, sparked by Isaiah Austin's put-back dunk and A.J. Walton's jumper in the lane that gave Baylor a narrow, 34-33 lead at intermission.
Kansas State's Irving and Baylor guard Brady Heslip each hit three 3-pointers in the first half as the Bears and Wildcats traded momentum throughout the first 20 minutes.
NOTES: Kansas State improved to 6-2 on the road in Big 12 play and 9-0 versus teams from the state of Texas this season. The Wildcats won nonconference games against Lamar, Texas Southern, swept Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor and won at TCU in Big 12 play. ... Baylor fell to 1-5 against ranked opponents this season with the lone win coming at Kentucky on December 1.