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NCAA Tournament Scores, Kansas State Vs. Southern Mississippi: Rodney McGruder Powers Wildcats Win, 70-64

The Kansas State Wilcats used a late run to win a close game against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles on Thursday in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA tournament. The Wildcats won by a final score of 70-64.

Kansas State scored six points on free throws in the final minutes of play to extend a three-point lead and close out the game.

Southern Mississippi had no answer for Rodney McGruder. The Wildcats' junior guard scored 30 points, only the third time in his career. He was 11-of-17 from the field. That helped Kansas State get to the 50 percent mark from the field, compared to just 36 percent for Southern Mississippi.

Neil Watson led the Golden Eagles with 16 points, one of three players in double figures.

Kansas State will advance to play the winner of the game between Syracuse and UNC-Asheville.

For more on Kansas State basketball, visit SB Nation's Kansas State blog, Bring on the Cats.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation Pittsburgh, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.