Rapid Reaction: Baylor 75, Kansas State 73
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Here are some quick thoughts from Baylor's 75-73 victory over Kansas State on Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum.
Overview: Perry Jones III scored 17 points and Pierre Jackson dished out 11 assists to lead the No. 4 Bears over the 18th-ranked Wildcats. At 16-0, Baylor is one of the country's three remaining undefeated teams. Rodney McGruder scored 30 points for a Kansas State squad that entered the game flying high following Saturday's blowout of previously unbeaten Missouri. The Wildcats had a chance to win or force a tie with 3 seconds remaining, but Baylor's Quincy Acy deflected their inbounds pass down the court and time expired during the chase for the loose ball.
Star of the game: For Baylor, it had to be Jackson, whose 10 points weren't nearly as big as his 11 assists. Jackson has completely changed the tone of the Bears' program with his toughness.
McGruder came up huge for the Wildcats against a big-name opponent again, having scored 20 points in Saturday's victory over Mizzou. McGruder is becoming more aggressive with each game, which has been a problem for him at times in the past.
Turning point: The game wasn't decided until Acy swatted away Kansas State's inbounds pass under the Wildcats' basket in the waning seconds. Moments earlier, he had scored five consecutive points to help Baylor turn a 71-69 deficit into a 74-71 lead. A basket by McGruder shaved the Wildcats' deficit to 74-73 before Jones was fouled while rebounding a teammate's miss on the other end. He made one of two free throws to make it 75-73.
What the win means for Baylor: The Bears survived what will be one of their two toughest Big 12 road tests. The other will come Monday at Kansas. This team is mentally tougher than Bears squads of the past, and its depth has been a huge factor in its success. Anyone who doubted Baylor before Tuesday would be foolish to question the Bears now.
What the loss means for Kansas State: Frank Martin's squad has no reason to hang its head after this one. The Wildcats are a legitimate threat to end Kansas' streak of seven consecutive Big 12 titles. They might not lose again at Bramlage Coliseum, and they are gritty and tough enough to win on the road. This could be Martin's finest coaching job yet, and Kansas State is only going to get better.
Up next: Baylor hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday in Waco, Texas. Kansas State hits the road for a tilt with Oklahoma that same day.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Bob Stoops' recent comments about the SEC and the pending college football playoff, what appears to be an unpredictable Big 12 in 2013, how the Aggies will handle expectations and more.
Play Podcast Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin talks about the improvements being made to Kyle Field, what those improvements will to for the program, the success of last year, Johnny Manziel's offseason and the expectations for the Aggies in 2013.
Play Podcast Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo talk about Texas A&M's decision to expand its stadium and say although the Aggies had a fantastic year, the school must also be careful not to overextend its resources based on a single hot stretch.
Play Podcast Baylor head coach Art Briles joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what kind of player the Cowboys are getting in Terrance Williams.
Play Podcast Arlington and Texas A&M product Luke Joeckel, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett to discuss the draft, coaches and advice from his dad.
Play Podcast Florida Gulf Coast athletic director Ken Kavanagh joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his school's Cinderella story and playing in the Sweet 16 at Cowboys Stadium.
Play Podcast Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby joins Fizsimmons & Durrett to discuss Cowboys Stadium as a venue, the state of Big 12 basketball, the new 2014 college football format, why there's no hurry to have a Big 12 football championship and much more.
Play Podcast Jay Bilas joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the remaining 16 teams in the NCAA tournament, the intrigue surrounding the Northwest Region and the excitement over FGCU, even though a similar story happens every year.