It sometimes seems that if a team’s not very good in November, there’s no reason to think it will be very good in March. Yes, all teams hope to improve, and they tell us they will improve, but some just don’t really improve.

But with the University of Louisville basketball team, we should probably know better by now. We should know that turbulence will usually be followed by a smooth ride, and that coach Rick Pitino always knows how much time is left on a season’s clock.

For the third year in a row, the Cardinals appear to be peaking at the perfect time. Their 88-66 victory over Temple on Thursday night was just as lopsided as the score indicates. U of L has won 11 of its last 12 games, continuing the recent trend of finishing with a flurry.

It is not an accident or good luck or the result of fortunate scheduling. More than anything, it is a byproduct of Pitino’s approach, and it is by design. His relentlessness leads to rewards, and when players see tangible results, it makes them push even harder.

“He’s unbelievable,” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said by phone Thursday. “He throws so much at those guys and it seems overwhelming at the time, but then they get to the end of the year and they’re tough and together.”