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JACKSON — The opening rounds of the MHSAA State Basketball Tournament will likely come at least one week late for most of the teams in the Magnolia State.

In response to the historic winter storm that has frozen the state’s roads, the Mississippi High School Activities Association announced Wednesday an alternate plan for teams that were supposed to open the tournament this week.

Under the new plan, girls’ first-round playoff games will be played on Monday, Feb. 22 with the second and third round to follow on Wednesday, Feb. 24 and Friday, Feb. 26, respectively.

Boys will begin with first-round games on Tuesday, Feb. 23 and play the second and third rounds on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 27.

MHSAA Executive Director Rickey Neaves said some schools in the southern-most part of the state could potentially continue on the regular schedule — with the girls' playoffs beginning tonight and boys' starting Thursday — weather permitting.

“We felt like we had to do something for the teams in the Northern part of the state,” Neaves said. “They are looking at more ice and snow tonight, and it may be next week before the roads are safe for our teams and fans to travel. Following this timeline will make it possible to stay both stay on schedule and give those teams more flexibility if they need it."