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It's Never Too Early to Give Up

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Why Indiana is NIT bound at best.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

NOTE: This article was written less than an hour after IU-Penn State.

Penn State 66, Indiana 65.

This game took place at Assembly Hall.

And Penn State won.

Just like Northwestern before them.

What the hell, Hoosiers?

What are you doing this season?

Can you make any less sense?

/Deep breath in, deep breath out

Indiana is 14-10, 4-7. And they're basically out of second chances. At this point, running the table is about the only chance IU has of sniffing the NCAA tourney, and it might even take a couple unlikely wins to make the NIT. If Noah Vonleh jumps to the NBA after this season (which is still a possibility, somehow), the Hoosiers go into next year looking very vulnerable without significant improvement from a lot of players. I might even go so far as to say that Tom Crean's seat just warmed up a bit thanks to tonight. Whatever expectations existed for this team are gone. Whatever possible chances of understanding what's going on here just disappeared. This isn't quite the basketball equivalent of what we pulled on Penn State in football, especially with how the B1G has been this year, and as bad as this team has looked at times, but it's a lot closer than any of us would like to admit.

The hopes of making another Sweet 16 or better: pretty much dashed. The hopes of making the NCAA tourney: on life support. The hopes of enjoying Indiana sports this season: entirely reliant upon the upcoming IU baseball season. These are the times that try souls, grate on nerves, and lower patience across Hoosier Nation. 2012-2013 brought plenty of athletic success. It seems as though 2013-2014 is destined to bring mostly athletic nightmares.

But we must slog on. The season is not yet over, and if the Hoosiers can ever find any semblance of consistency, a decent NIT run may yet await. But there will be no satisfaction with this team, no March Madness glory. This season, more than most others, has been a season on the drink for the Hoosier faithful. And it's not over yet.