Forgive me but im a little more in tune with football, is the selection for the NCAA's in hockey really as bad as the analogy of the "dark smokey room"?
The thing is, they actually aren't that far off from transparency. The selection criteria themselves are totally concrete, though I'll take Steve's word on their mathematical wonkiness. The problem is that their application is totally arbitrary: committee members can try to throw more weight behind whichever numbers make their preferred teams look good. And then there's the bracketing, which is openly acknowledged to be about saving on flight costs first and foremost, with season performance a distant second.
At best, the tournament will almost never have the fairest possible pairings, and at worst, numbers can be finessed to leave a deserving team out in the cold. I'm not saying it's happened, but with zero oversight, the possibility is out there.