Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Pearl River Community College begin their run toward a MACJC State basketball title in separate games on Monday at Itawamba Community College.
The Bulldogs play Holmes at 6 p.m. The South's top seed, Pearl River (16-7) will play East Mississippi at 3 p.m.
The Wildcats have won the last two state titles.
The Bulldogs (18-5) are the No. 4 seed from the South Division. Holmes is the North's top seed.
Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said motivation is the biggest determinant in deciding these tournaments. His team has also qualified for the Region 23 Tournament, which will be held March 2-5 in Clinton.
"We've got two weeks left," he said. "We either got two games left or six games left. That's up to them. The teams that win these tournaments are the teams that aren't ready to quit playing."
If the Bulldogs win the opener, they'll play the winner of the Jones County-Northeast game at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
PRCC has also qualified for the Region 23 Tournament. If Pearl River wins, the Wildcats will face either Northwest or Southwest at 3 p.m. Wednesday.