1. JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD THIS TEAM FIGURED OUT: They come out with a performance like Saturday night. Indiana was lethargic, sloppy and generally emotionless all night and deserved to lose the game. The Hoosiers let Penn State hang around for far too long, and once they did that, it was an uphill battle. Ultimately, IU simply couldn't get stops down the stretch when the game was on the line.
Brandon Taylor killed the Hoosiers all night, lighting them up for 24 points and 6 rebounds. Taylor, who had 29 3-pointers all season coming in, made 4-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc on Saturday night. Devin Foster was also a thorn for IU, going for 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
"We did not answer the bell on Brandon Taylor the way we needed to," said Indiana coach Tom Crean. "We compared him to Nigel Hayes, and we basically had the same result. We've got to do a better job. You've got to do your work early on a player like that. When he catches it, it's very hard to stop him. We were just a little bit out of sync with that."
This is Indiana's worst loss of the season, and it makes winning the Big Ten title a long shot when it was legitimately within reach heading into the night. Penn State (12-12, 3-8) was ranked 147th by KenPom.com entering Saturday's game.
2. HORRID SHOOTING DOOMS IU: Indiana entered Saturday night's game shooting the second-best FG percentage in all of college basketball (52 percent). You wouldn't have known it by how the Hoosiers played in State College.
They shot a season-worst 36 percent (17-of-47) from the field and 33 percent (9-of-27) from beyond the arc. Indiana shot just 30 percent (7-of-23) from the field and 20 percent (3-of-15) from distance in the second half.
"We dodged a few bullets out there with some of the open 3s that they had, that they typically make, that they definitely made against Michigan," said Penn State coach Patrick Chambers. "And they didn't make them today."
Nick Zeisloft and Thomas Bryant were the only IU players to shoot 50 percent or better from the field, though Bryant attempted only four field goals. Zeisloft had a team-high 14 points off the bench on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
It was an uncharacteriscally off night for star guard Yogi Ferrell, who made only 3-of-12 shots for 13 points. Ferrell, who has been among the most consistent players in the country this season, was just 1-of-6 from 3-point range and had a team-high 5 turnovers in the loss.
"We didn't come out in this game with the same mentality that we've had in the past couple months playing these Big Ten games," Ferrell said. "And it basically bit us in the butt."
3. ROUGH NIGHT FOR THE FRONT COURT: Almost immediately, it became apparent that it was not going to be a good night for Indiana's interior players. Bryant picked up two quick fouls -- and three in the first half -- and had to sit for a long stretch. Max Bielfeldt also got in early foul trouble, and OG Anunoby had his only bad game of the conference season to this point. Anunoby was scoreless on 0-of-1 shooting, but more important was the fact that he struggled to stop Taylor from scoring. Anunoby was one of the primary defenders against the Nittany Lions' leading scorer, and the veteran beat him time and again.
And finally, Collin Hartman, who started at power forward, had one of his worst games of the year. Hartman had two points but missed all four of his FG attempts, and he was also unusually careless with the ball. All in all, it was not a night to remember for Indiana's interior players.
4. PENN STATE LIKES PLAYING IU: For reasons that are unclear and truly defy logic, Indiana continues to have a difficult time with Penn State. Entering Saturday's game, the last three meetings between the two teams were decided by a total of 7 points, and Chambers' teams have regularly given IU problems since he took over in State College.
"I just thought they were jacked up to be in this arena," Chambers said. "It was so nice to be home. We haven't been home in a long time. And they're getting better. These kids are getting better."
5. SHOWDOWN WITH IOWA COMING SOON: Indiana's loss sets up an important game and a battle for first place in the Big Ten when Iowa visits Assembly Hall on Thursday night. Iowa plays Illinois on Sunday, and a win would give it a 10-1 record and the outright lead in the conference.
The atmosphere at Assembly Hall figures to rival the electricity felt when Maryland came to town last season. The game will be televised on ESPN at 9 p.m. Will it turn into a party night in Bloomington? (That's a trick question. The answer is: Yes. Win or lose, yes.)
The game is important for Indiana for the obvious reasons, but also because the Hoosiers must go to Michigan State next Sunday.