In a unique setup that is likely to be no more after this season, the #17 Seward County Saints got a second chance of sorts Saturday night as they laced up their sneakers one last time to take on #8 Eastern Oklahoma State in the NJCAA National Tournament 3rd Place Game. Less than 24 hours before tip off of the consolation game, both teams had hopes of a National Championship and understandably, there wasn't an overabundance of energy on the floor during pregame warmups as both teams knew their season was over no matter what after the contest. However, in the words of 2012 Jayhawk West Coach of the Year Bryan Zollinger "if they are going to make us play the game, I would sure rather be 3rd place than 4th place". It was obviously that Zollinger's team heard his message as the Saints erased a first half deficit with a 50 point second half to blow out the Mountaineers 77-62 to take home a 3rd place trophy in the tournament.

After emotionally draining losses for both teams on Friday night, things were slow going early on on Saturday and the first basket of the game didn't come until two minutes in while the Saints trailed 6-2 four minutes into things. A 7-0 Seward run highlighted by a Daveon Boardingham dunk and an Irvin Hollinger three pointer put the Saints on top 9-6 before Eastern Oklahoma scored the next four to take a 10-9 lead of their own. Seward got to the free throw line and converted and Trey Starks hooked up with Deverell Biggs for a bucket to give the Saints the lead back at 15-10 midway through the half but the Mountaineers battled back and tied things up at 19 with 7:49 remaining in the half. The Saints continued to be the aggressors and another Boardingham offensive rebound and putback gave them a 25-21 lead but Eastern Oklahoma closed the half on a 9-2 run in the final 2:07 to take a 30-27 lead into the locker rooms. Seward's offense was in neutral in the first half, shooting just 39% and a dismal 38% from the free throw line. However, they were able to force 10 Mountaineer turnovers and held them to just 13% shooting from behind the arc to keep it a three point game after the first 20 minutes.
It was hard to know what to expect from both teams coming out of the break for the second half. Right away though, it was obvious that whatever Zollinger said in the locker room worked as Seward bolted out to score the first nine points of the second half and held Eastern Oklahoma off the board for the first 5:18 to take a 36-30 lead. A Boardingham bucket and the foul not only notched the sophomore a double-double in his final game with the green and white, but gave his team their largest lead of the game at 39-32 with 14:04 remaining in the game. The Mountaineers came back to make it a two point game but slashing Saint guards quickly gave their team their breathing room back to make it 44-37. A Irvin Hollinger three put the Saints up 10 and a finish inside from Edson Avila later on gave the Saints a 56-45 advantage with exactly 8:00 left. That took any wind that was left in the Mountaineer sails away and Seward held a double digit advantage through the duration of the game and took as much as a 20 point lead late before cruising to a 77-62 win.
The Saints picked things up to finish the game shooting 43% while holding Eastern Oklahoma under 40% overall and just 13% from three point land. Hollinger finished with a game high 22 while Boardingham put up 18 points and 11 rebounds to finalize his stellar tournament. Avila came off the bench to give Seward 12 points and 9 rebounds and Biggs bounced back from a couple of rough games with a 13 point, 4 steal performance.
Seward finishes the 2012 in 3rd place in the country, marking the Saints third straight third place finish during National Tournament performances. They finish the year 31-7 which means that Hollinger and Boardingham finish their Seward County careers with more wins than any other players to ever suit up for the Saints.
At the conclusion of the tournament, in which #1 South Plains took home the crown, Boardingham and Hollinger were both named to the National Tournament All-Tournament Team.