Columbines, even in pots, don't always die back completely...they leave a small set of basal leaves. That doesn't mean yours are dead. When were the seeds
started and how large were the plants? It's possible the taproot is still alive underneath the dirt and will grow anew next spring
. However, I dug up some seedlings
and put them in pots a few weeks ago. The top growth did die back, but a new basal set of leaves has already started to grow.