The NCAA Tournament tips off on Thursday, and these individual matchups will be must-watch affairs.

While the past few days have been all about filling out brackets and making Final Four picks, that all ends when the 2021 NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday. While we should all know the teams that are in the field, some of the top individual matchups may still be flying under the radar.

Sure, basketball is a team sport, but some of the best moments in the NCAA Tournament happen when two stars go head-to-head in an epic battle. These affairs can often be the difference between winning and losing, and can also provide watchability to otherwise uninteresting games. This list features 10 of the best one-on-one matchups to watch in the first round.

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Moses Wright (Georgia Tech) vs Cameron Krutwig (Loyola-Chicago)

TV Schedule: Friday, March 19 — 4 p.m. ET; TBS

Talk about an immediate battle between two of the best big men in the entire country. This matchup should be one of those games that defines the first weekend. ACC player of the year Moses Wright will be playing the underdog against Missouri Valley player of the year Cameron Krutwig. Both forwards are much more imposing than their 6-9 frames would suggest on paper, and the battle down low in this game will be amazing. While Moses Wright finished third in the ACC in points per game and fourth in rebounds per game, Krutwig is one of two remaining players from Loyola’s 2018 Final Four team. This battle could very well be the difference in determining which team gets a shot at knocking of the No. 1 seed Illinois Fighting Illini.

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Connor Hope
Connor Hope

Heat Check CBB national writer